How to Find the Right Nursing School near Vinton Iowa
Choosing the right nursing college near Vinton IA may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to check into before you determine 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 health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Vinton IA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Vinton IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Vinton 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Vinton IA or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Vinton IA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Vinton 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 colleges you are considering 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Vinton IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Vinton IA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Vinton IA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Vinton IA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Vinton 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.
Vinton is a city in Benton County, Iowa, United States. The population was 5,257 in the 2010 census, an increase from 5,102 in the 2000 census. It is also part of the Cedar Rapids Metropolitan Statistical Area. Vinton is the county seat of Benton County.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.83 square miles (12.51 km2), of which, 4.74 square miles (12.28 km2) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) is water.
Vinton is located on U.S. Route 218 and the Cedar River, which has flooded parts of the city, most recently in 2008. The town's extensive tree cover was damaged by a derecho (straight line windstorm) on July 11, 2011.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Vinton IA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Vinton IA.
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