How to Choose a Nursing School near Belle Plaine Kansas
Selecting the right nursing college near Belle Plaine KS may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially 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 need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate 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 college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine 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 alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Belle Plaine KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Belle Plaine KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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 fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Belle Plaine KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Kansas 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 training is state certified. In addition to 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Belle Plaine KS or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Belle Plaine KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Belle Plaine KS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Belle Plaine KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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 a working relationship with Belle Plaine KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Belle Plaine KS students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Belle Plaine KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Belle Plaine Kansas 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.
Belle Plaine, Kansas
Belle Plaine was founded in 1871. Belle Plaine is a French name meaning "beautiful plain". In 1883, Belle Plaine was a station and shipping point for the Southern Central & Fort Scott Railway. By 1910, it was at the junction of two railroads, the Missouri Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe. The first post office in Belle Plaine was established in April 1871. In the fall of 1871 and spring of 1872, Miss Olive M. North taught a subscription school; and, in 1873, school district (No. 2) was established.
Belle Plaine is located at 37°23′39″N 97°16′45″W / 37.394214°N 97.279076°W / 37.394214; -97.279076 (37.394214, -97.279076). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.91 square miles (2.36 km2), all of it land.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Belle Plaine has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Belle Plaine KS
Selecting the right registered nursing college is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Belle Plaine KS.
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