How to Pick a Nursing School near Hiawatha Kansas
Locating the best nursing school near Hiawatha KS may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Hiawatha KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Hiawatha KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 may 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining 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 earned 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 change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. 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. No matter the kind 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 guarantees 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Hiawatha KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary 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 recommendation is to get in touch with 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Hiawatha KS or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous 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 workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Hiawatha 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Hiawatha 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 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 Hiawatha KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Hiawatha KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many Hiawatha KS students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue 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 Hiawatha KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Hiawatha 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.
Hiawatha was founded in 1857, making it one of the oldest towns in the state. John M. Coe, John P. Wheller, and Thomas J. Drummond were instrumental in organizing the city, and the site was staked out February 17, 1857. B.L. Rider reportedly was responsible for naming Hiawatha, taking the young Indian's name from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, The Song of Hiawatha. Hiawatha became the Brown County Seat in 1858, and the first school opened in 1870.
The main street was designated Oregon Street after the Oregon Trail. Parallel streets north of it were named after Indian tribes north of the Trail, and streets south carried tribal names of those south of the Trail.
Hiawatha is named after a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called The Song of Hiawatha. In the poem is legendary Onondaga and Mohawk Indian leader Hiawatha. Adjacent to the former Ioway-Sac reservation and the present-day Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Hiawatha is called Hári Wáta in Ioway, meaning "I am looking far away". This name may be the result of choosing Ioway words that sound like the English name. It has nothing to do with the Onondaga-Mohawk leader.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Hiawatha KS
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 practicing RN in Hiawatha KS.
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