How to Find the Right Nursing School near Oswego Kansas
Choosing the right nursing college near Oswego KS may seem like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Oswego KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing 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 commonly 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 is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Oswego KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 might wish 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Oswego KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Oswego KS or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Oswego KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Oswego 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Oswego KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Oswego KS hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. 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 classes for some Oswego KS students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Oswego KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Oswego 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.
Oswego is located on the site of an Osage village called No tse Wa spe, which means "Heart Stays" or more loosely translated, "Quiet Heart." Jesuit Missionaries from Osage Mission (now St. Paul, Kansas) who worked among the Osages called the village "Little Town," probably because the band of Osages who lived in the village were of the "Little Osage" division of the Osage People. More specifically, the Osage Village of Little Town was described as "Little Town Above" by the Jesuits, to distinguish it from another village, which was sometimes located just to the east of Little Town, called "Little Town Below." While Osage villages were moved quite often (according to weather, hunting conditions, and sanitary conditions) Little Town Above was generally located on the bluff overlooking the Neosho River, where Oswego sits today. Little Town Below often sat near Horseshoe Lake, in the Neosho River Valley about a mile due east of Oswego. During the 1850s, Little Town was often referred to as "White Hair's Town," in honor of a resident of the village named Iron Hawk. Iron Hawk was named Grand Tsi Shu Chief (or Peace Chief) of the Osage Nation (through the 19th Century, it was tradition for the Osage Chief to take the name "White Hair".
A study of the baptismal records of the Jesuits at Osage Mission reveals that several white or mixed white and Osage families lived in or near Little Town before the Civil War. Several mixed white and Cherokee families also lived in or near the present site of Little Town, likely just east of the village in the Cherokee Neutral Lands or to the south, near Chetopa.
One family of mixed Osage blood that lived at Little Town before the Civil War was the John Allan Mathews family, who operated a blacksmith/gunsmith shop on the site and ran a trading post here, as well as one at Osage Mission and one at Fort Gibson. Mathews first purchased the trading post at Little Town from Augustus Chouteau in either 1838 or 1843, depending upon the source. Mathews was married to Mary Ann Williams until her death and then to her sister Sarah Jane Williams, daughters of William Sherley Williams, better known as "Old Bill Williams" and his Osage wife, A-Ci'n-Ga or Wind Blossom.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Oswego KS
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Oswego KS.
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