How to Select a Nursing Program near Lakin Kansas
Choosing the right nursing school near Lakin KS may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Lakin KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Lakin KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers 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) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 core curriculum 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 instruction can be acquired at Lakin 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 mandated to obtain 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 minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Lakin KS or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. 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 lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Lakin KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies 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 assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 speak with some Lakin 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Lakin KS medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Lakin KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Lakin KS students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lakin KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lakin 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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 2,216 people, 781 households, and 573 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,261.2 inhabitants per square mile (873.1/km2). There were 851 housing units at an average density of 868.4 per square mile (335.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 87.7% White, 0.3% African American, 0.9% Native American, 8.7% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 28.9% of the population.
There were 781 households of which 43.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.9% were married couples living together, 11.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 26.6% were non-families. 24.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.23.
The median age in the city was 34.5 years. 30.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.1% were from 25 to 44; 23.6% were from 45 to 64; and 14.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.6% male and 49.4% female.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Lakin KS
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lakin KS.
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