How to Pick a Nursing School near Elk City Kansas
Finding the best nursing program near Elk City KS may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Elk City KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Elk City KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Elk City KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must 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 requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Elk City KS or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Elk City KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Elk City 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 considering 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 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 Elk City KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Elk City KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Elk City KS students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other 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 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Elk City KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Elk City 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.
Elk City, Kansas
Elk City is located at 37°17′25″N 95°54′37″W / 37.29028°N 95.91028°W / 37.29028; -95.91028 (37.290235, -95.910244). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.34 square miles (0.88 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 325 people, 132 households, and 91 families residing in the city. The population density was 955.9 inhabitants per square mile (369.1/km2). There were 172 housing units at an average density of 505.9 per square mile (195.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.5% White, 0.6% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.6% from other races, and 4.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
There were 132 households of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.5% were married couples living together, 10.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.1% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.89.
Select the Right Nursing School near Elk City KS
Choosing the right registered nursing college is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Elk City KS.
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