How to Choose a Nursing School near Edwardsville Kansas
Locating the right nursing school near Edwardsville KS may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Edwardsville KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two 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 Edwardsville KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Edwardsville KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Edwardsville KS or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Edwardsville 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Edwardsville 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Edwardsville KS medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Edwardsville KS hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Edwardsville KS students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Edwardsville KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Edwardsville 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.
Edwardsville is a city in Wyandotte County, Kansas, United States and is part of the "Unified Government" which also contains Kansas City, Kansas, most of Bonner Springs, and roughly one quarter of Lake Quivira. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 4,340.
Edwardsville was surveyed in 1869 on land formerly belonging to Half Moon, an Indian chief of the Delawares. It was named for John H. Edwards, a general passenger agent for the Union Pacific Railroad, who later served as a justice of the peace and state senator from Ellis County, Kansas.
Edwardsville is located at 39°03′48″N 94°48′52″W / 39.063428°N 94.814347°W / 39.063428; -94.814347 (39.063428, -94.814347). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.36 square miles (24.24 km2), of which, 9.04 square miles (23.41 km2) is land and 0.32 square miles (0.83 km2) is water.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Edwardsville KS
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Edwardsville KS.
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