How to Choose a Nursing School near Woolstock Iowa
Searching for the right nursing school near Woolstock IA may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Woolstock IA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 generally 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Woolstock IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Woolstock IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Woolstock IA or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Woolstock IA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Woolstock 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 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 unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Woolstock IA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Woolstock IA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Woolstock IA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Woolstock IA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Woolstock 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 168 people, 85 households, and 44 families residing in the city. The population density was 158.5 inhabitants per square mile (61.2/km2). There were 100 housing units at an average density of 94.3 per square mile (36.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.4% White, 0.6% African American, 0.6% Native American, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.
There were 85 households of which 16.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.9% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.2% were non-families. 41.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.98 and the average family size was 2.68.
The median age in the city was 47 years. 16.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 27.4% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 26.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 53.0% male and 47.0% female.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Woolstock IA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Woolstock IA.
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