How to Choose a Nursing Program near Ventura Iowa
Choosing the right nursing school near Ventura IA may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Ventura IA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Ventura IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Ventura IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Ventura IA or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Ventura IA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a specified 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 provides an exceptional education, but also prepares 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Ventura 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Ventura IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Ventura IA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Ventura IA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Ventura IA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Ventura 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.
Ventura is a city in Cerro Gordo County, Iowa, United States. The population was 717 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Mason City Micropolitan Statistical Area. Ventura is located on the northeastern basin of Clear Lake (Iowa) making it a place with many lakeside areas.
As of the census of 2010, there were 717 people, 315 households, and 215 families residing in the city. The population density was 405.1 inhabitants per square mile (156.4/km2). There were 377 housing units at an average density of 213.0 per square mile (82.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.3% White, 0.6% Asian, 0.4% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.
There were 315 households of which 21.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.4% were married couples living together, 4.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.7% were non-families. 24.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.28 and the average family size was 2.70.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Ventura IA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Ventura IA.
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