How to Pick a Nursing School near Oskaloosa Kansas
Selecting the right nursing college near Oskaloosa KS may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as 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 many different medical settings, namely Oskaloosa KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, 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
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Oskaloosa KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Oskaloosa KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Oskaloosa KS or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost 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 sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. 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 Oskaloosa KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Oskaloosa KS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 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 Oskaloosa KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Oskaloosa KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending 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 facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Oskaloosa KS students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Oskaloosa KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Oskaloosa 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.
Oskaloosa is located at 39°12′57″N 95°18′50″W / 39.21583°N 95.31389°W / 39.21583; -95.31389 (39.215849, -95.313800). It is at the intersection of U.S. Route 59 and K-92, approximately 15 miles north of Lawrence. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.03 square miles (2.67 km2), of which, 1.02 square miles (2.64 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Oskaloosa has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,113 people, 435 households, and 281 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,091.2 inhabitants per square mile (421.3/km2). There were 480 housing units at an average density of 470.6 per square mile (181.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.0% White, 0.2% African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.3% Asian, 0.1% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
Select the Right Nursing School near Oskaloosa KS
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Oskaloosa KS.
More Awesome Locations in Kansas