Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Urbandale IA

How to Pick a Nursing College near Urbandale Iowa

Urbandale IA surgical nurse assisting surgeonFinding the best nursing college near Urbandale IA may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Urbandale IA Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Urbandale IA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Urbandale IA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.

LVN and LPN Programs

Urbandale IA LPN assisting patientThere are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Urbandale IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.

What to Ask Nursing Colleges

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Urbandale IANow that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Urbandale IA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Urbandale IA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Urbandale IA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
  • Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Urbandale IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Urbandale IA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Nursing Online Programs

woman attending nursing school online in Urbandale IAEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Urbandale IA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Urbandale IA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Urbandale Iowa area.  If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.

Urbandale, Iowa

Urbandale is a city in Polk County and Dallas County, Iowa, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city population was 39,463. It is part of the Des Moines–West Des Moines Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Urbandale was incorporated as a city on April 16, 1917. In its early days, Urbandale served as a streetcar suburb of Des Moines with four coal mines. Urbandale served as the end of the "Urbandale Line" after plans to build a railroad from Des Moines to Woodward were abandoned because of right-of-way issues. The coal mines had closed by the end of the 1940s while streetcar service ended in 1951.

In 1920, shortly after the city incorporated, Urbandale had 298 people. Its population in 1950 was 1,777, but the city grew rapidly after that along with the rest of Des Moines' suburbs. By 1970 Urbandale had 14,434 people, and in 2000 it had 29,072.[4] Although most of the city's developed area is in Polk County, Urbandale has expanded westward into Dallas County in recent years.

Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Urbandale IA

Urbandale IA nursing studentSelecting the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Urbandale IA.

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