How to Choose a Nursing School near Fredonia Kansas
Choosing the best nursing program near Fredonia KS may seem like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Fredonia KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Fredonia KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, 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 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Fredonia 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Fredonia KS or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Fredonia KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fredonia 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Fredonia KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Fredonia KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Fredonia KS students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Fredonia KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Fredonia 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.
Fredonia is a city in and the county seat of Wilson County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 2,482. The town was founded in 1868, and saw considerable expansion in the early 20th century, with a fossil fuel boom.
Fredonia was laid out in 1868 near a large hillock located along Kansas Highway 400 or the St. Louis & San Francisco Railway in southeast Kansas. It was named after Fredonia, New York. The first building on the town site was a general store, erected in 1868, on the southwest corner of the town square, soon followed by a simple courthouse and hotel. The first post office was established in August 1868. The Gold Dust Hotel was completed in 1885.
It became a booming town with an emphasis on large industry. In May 1913, a large vein of semi-anthracite coal was discovered near the town. The coal that was found was “said to be of better quality than any other found in Kansas” at that time. With this discovery, it had the possibility of bringing in large amounts of money for the Wilson County area. A cement plant opened in Fredonia in 1907, supplying jobs to the community for more than 100 years, before it was closed in 2012. The economy in Fredonia was again boosted by the Archer Daniels Midland Company. The plant was obtained in 1928 and operated as a soybean processing facility and supplied many jobs for the growing industrial town. In March 2003 the plant announced it would close its Fredonia branch effective immediately. Fredonia was a hub for oil development, a natural gas source, and had many railroad stations to import and export goods from the town. A large portion of the jobs in the town involved working at these plants which caused Fredonia to be greatly affected by their removal.
Select the Right Nursing School near Fredonia KS
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Fredonia KS.
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