How to Find the Right Nursing School near Vail Iowa
Finding the best nursing school near Vail IA may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Vail IA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Vail IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Vail IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Vail IA or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Vail IA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Vail IA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Vail IA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Vail IA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Vail IA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Vail IA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Vail 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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 436 people, 174 households, and 120 families residing in the city. The population density was 764.9 inhabitants per square mile (295.3/km2). There were 189 housing units at an average density of 331.6 per square mile (128.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.2% White, 0.7% African American, 0.9% Native American, 8.9% from other races, and 0.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.4% of the population.
There were 174 households of which 35.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.2% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.0% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.00.
The median age in the city was 42.3 years. 27.3% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 20.3% were from 25 to 44; 31.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.0% male and 53.0% female.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Vail IA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Vail IA.
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