How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Great Bend Kansas
Finding the best nursing college near Great Bend KS may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional things to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Great Bend KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Great Bend KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Great Bend KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 might be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Great Bend KS or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably 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 ultimate decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Great Bend KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 call some Great Bend KS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Great Bend KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Great Bend KS hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Great Bend KS students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Great Bend KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Great Bend 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.
Great Bend, Kansas
Great Bend is a city in and the county seat of Barton County, Kansas, United States. It is named for its location at the point where the course of the Arkansas River bends east then southeast. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city was 15,995.
Prior to American settlement of the area, the site of Great Bend was located in the northern reaches of Kiowa territory. Claimed first by France as part of Louisiana and later acquired by the United States with the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, it lay within the area organized by the U.S. as Kansas Territory in 1854. Kansas became a state in 1861, and the state government delineated the surrounding area as Barton County in 1867.
The first settlers of the area arrived in 1870. Living in sod houses and dugouts, they worked as buffalo hunters since trampling by bison herds precluded crop farming. In 1871, the Great Bend Town Company, anticipating the westward construction of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, founded Great Bend at a site roughly three miles west of Fort Zarah on the Santa Fe Trail. They named the settlement after its location at the "great bend" in the Arkansas River where the river’s course turns eastward. The town began to grow as more settlers arrived over the following year and opened several businesses.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Great Bend KS
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, 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 using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Great Bend KS.
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