How to Find the Right Nursing College near Kansas City Kansas
Choosing the best nursing school near Kansas City KS may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Kansas City KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kansas City KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Additional requirements for licensing 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 Programs
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally 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 alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Kansas City KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates 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
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Kansas City KS or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Kansas City KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Kansas 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Kansas City KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Kansas City KS hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some Kansas City KS students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Kansas City KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Kansas 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.
Kansas City, Kansas
Kansas City is the third-largest city in the State of Kansas, the county seat of Wyandotte County, and the third-largest city of the Kansas City metropolitan area. Kansas City, Kansas is abbreviated as "KCK" to differentiate it from Kansas City, Missouri, after which it is named. It is part of a consolidated city-county government known as the "Unified Government". Wyandotte County also includes the independent cities of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 145,786 residents. It is situated at Kaw Point, which is the junction of the Missouri and Kansas rivers.
In October 1872, "old" Kansas City, Kansas, was incorporated. The first city election was held on October 22 of that year, by order of Judge Hiram Stevens of the Tenth Judicial District, and resulted in the election of Mayor James Boyle. The mayors of the city after its organization were James Boyle, C. A. Eidemiller, A. S. Orbison, Eli Teed and Samuel McConnell. In June 1880, the Governor of Kansas proclaimed the city of Kansas City a city of the second class with Mayor McConnell present.
In March 1886, "new" Kansas City, Kansas, was formed through the consolidation of five municipalities: "old" Kansas City, Armstrong, Armourdale, Riverview, Wyandotte. The oldest city of the group was Wyandotte, which was formed in 1857 by Wyandot Native Americans and Methodist missionaries.:370, 384, 388
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Kansas City KS
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Kansas City KS.
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