How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Cottonwood Falls Kansas
Locating the right nursing school near Cottonwood Falls KS may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Cottonwood Falls KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing 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 normally 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cottonwood Falls KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Cottonwood Falls KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Kansas 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 course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Cottonwood Falls KS or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Cottonwood Falls KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cottonwood Falls KS 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 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 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 good reputation within the Cottonwood Falls KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Cottonwood Falls KS hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Cottonwood Falls KS students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cottonwood Falls KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cottonwood Falls 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.
Cottonwood Falls, Kansas
For many millennia, the Great Plains of North America was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans. From the 16th century to 18th century, the Kingdom of France claimed ownership of large parts of North America. In 1762, after the French and Indian War, France secretly ceded New France to Spain, per the Treaty of Fontainebleau.
In 1802, Spain returned most of the land to France. In 1803, most of the land for modern day Kansas was acquired by the United States from France as part of the 828,000 square mile Louisiana Purchase for 2.83 cents per acre.
In 1854, the Kansas Territory was organized, then in 1861 Kansas became the 34th U.S. state. In 1859, Chase County was established within the Kansas Territory, which included the land for modern day Cottonwood Falls.
Select the Right Nursing School near Cottonwood Falls KS
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Cottonwood Falls KS.
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