How to Pick a Nursing College near Downs Kansas
Searching for the right nursing college near Downs KS may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Downs KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered 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 advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Downs KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Downs KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training 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 tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Downs KS or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Downs KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Downs 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 programs you are looking at 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 good reputation within the Downs KS medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 also. Ask if the schools have associations with Downs KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular 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 require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Downs KS students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Downs KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Downs 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.
Downs had its start in the year 1879 when the Central Branch Railroad was extended to that point. It was named for William F. Downs, a railroad official from Atchison. Downs became an incorporated town in December of the same year. In 1910, the city had a population of 1,427. Business included 2 newspapers, a public library, flour mills, grain elevators, and an opera house.
Downs is located at 39°30′12″N 98°32′37″W / 39.50333°N 98.54361°W / 39.50333; -98.54361 (39.503305, -98.543500). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.00 square mile (2.59 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 900 people, 424 households, and 239 families residing in the city. The population density was 900.0 inhabitants per square mile (347.5/km2). There were 508 housing units at an average density of 508.0 per square mile (196.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.6% White, 0.1% African American, 1.1% Native American, 0.6% Asian, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Downs KS
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Downs KS.
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