How to Pick a Nursing School near Walcott Iowa
Finding the best nursing school near Walcott IA may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Walcott IA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Walcott IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Walcott IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Walcott 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 numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Walcott IA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Walcott 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 programs you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Walcott IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Walcott IA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Walcott IA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Walcott IA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Walcott 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.
Walcott is a city in Muscatine and Scott counties in the U.S. state of Iowa. The population was 1,629 at the 2010 census. Walcott's interchange on Interstate 80 is home to an enormous complex of restaurants, motels and truck stops, including the Iowa 80 truck stop which is the world's largest.
Most of Walcott is part of the Davenport–Moline–Rock Island, IA-IL Metropolitan Statistical Area, but the Muscatine County portion of the city is considered part of the Muscatine Micropolitan Statistical Area.
The City of Walcott was originally platted in 1854. The first passenger train route west of the Mississippi River started in 1855 and helped Walcott grow. William Walcott, who was a director of Chicago and Rock Island Railroad, donated $500 in 1855 for the construction of a school building, with the stipulation that the fledgling town along the railroad tracks near Davenport be named after him.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Walcott IA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Walcott IA.
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