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

How to Select a Nursing School near Waucoma Iowa

Waucoma IA surgical nurse assisting surgeonSearching for the right nursing school near Waucoma IA may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Waucoma IA Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Waucoma IA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are multiple degrees offered 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 two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Waucoma IA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare 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) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Training

Waucoma IA LPN assisting patientThere are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Waucoma IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 other prerequisites as well.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Waucoma IAOnce you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Waucoma IA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Waucoma IA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet 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, get in touch with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Waucoma 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Waucoma IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Waucoma IA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Online Nursing Classes

woman attending nursing school online in Waucoma IAAttending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Waucoma IA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Waucoma IA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Waucoma 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.

Waucoma, Iowa

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 257 people, 122 households, and 75 families residing in the city. The population density was 597.7 inhabitants per square mile (230.8/km2). There were 134 housing units at an average density of 311.6 per square mile (120.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.1% White, 0.4% Asian, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.4% of the population.

There were 122 households of which 24.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 8.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.5% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.11 and the average family size was 2.67.

The median age in the city was 47.8 years. 19.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 19.4% were from 25 to 44; 29.5% were from 45 to 64; and 22.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.

Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Waucoma IA

Waucoma IA nursing studentDeciding on the right registered nursing school is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN school 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 produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Waucoma IA.

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