How to Choose a Nursing School near Independence Kansas
Locating the best nursing program near Independence KS may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Independence KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Independence KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced 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 able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Independence KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Independence KS or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Independence 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Independence 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 schools 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Independence 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 obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually 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 a working relationship with Independence KS hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Independence KS students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Independence KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Independence 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.
Independence is a city in and the county seat of Montgomery County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 9,483. It was named in commemoration of the Declaration of Independence.
Independence was settled on land that was purchased from the Osage Indians in September 1869 by George A. Brown for the price of $50; they were being moved to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma. He originally called the townsite Colfax after Schuyler Colfax, Vice-president under President Ulysses S. Grant. On August 21, 1869 a group of Oswego, Kansas men led by R.W. Wright settled there with the intent to make Independence the county seat. E.E. Wilson and F.D. Irwin opened the first store in October 1869, Wilson & Irwin Groceries. Independence was designated county seat in 1870.
A permanent lighting system was first used for an exhibition baseball game on April 17, 1930 between the Independence Producers and House of David semi-professional baseball team of Benton Harbor, Michigan, with the Independence team winning with a score of 9 to 1 before a crowd of 1,700 spectators.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Independence KS
Selecting the right registered nursing program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Independence KS.
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