How to Choose a Nursing Program near Riverton Kansas
Searching for the best nursing college near Riverton KS may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Riverton KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Riverton KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 achieving 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 acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain 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, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Riverton KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure that the training 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 prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Riverton KS or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Riverton KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Riverton 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 schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Riverton KS medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Riverton KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending 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 facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Riverton 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 may be lessened, 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. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Riverton KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Riverton 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.
Riverton is an unincorporated community and census-designated place in Cherokee County, Kansas, United States. It is located at the junction of K-66 (former U.S. Route 66) and U.S. Route 69 Alternate and U.S. Route 400, near the Spring River. It is one of only three towns in Kansas along former U.S. Route 66. As of the 2010 census, the CDP population was 929.
Riverton is located in southeastern Cherokee County near the southeastern corner of Kansas. Along K-66, Galena, Kansas, is 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to the east, and Joplin, Missouri, is 10 miles (16 km) to the east. Pittsburg, Kansas, is 23 miles (37 km) to the north via US 400 and US 69. Baxter Springs, Kansas, is 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to the southwest, and Miami, Oklahoma, is 20 miles (32 km) to the southwest by US 69A.
The famous Rainbow Bridge, about 2 miles (3 km) west of town, was the site where in the year 2000, musician Brad Paisley performed the song "(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66" for the TLC special "Route 66: Main Street America".
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Riverton KS
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Riverton KS.
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