How to Choose a Nursing Program near Victoria Kansas
Choosing the right nursing college near Victoria KS may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Victoria KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Victoria KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study 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 earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Victoria KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Victoria KS or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial 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 pick measures up 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 make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Victoria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Victoria 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 colleges you are considering 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 good reputation within the Victoria KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Victoria KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some 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 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 classes for many Victoria KS students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Victoria KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Victoria 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.
A group of English and Scottish colonists led by a Scotsman named George Grant founded Victoria in 1873 on land he had purchased from the Kansas Pacific Railway. They named the settlement after Queen Victoria. Grant intended for Victoria to be a ranching community and was purportedly responsible for bringing the first Aberdeen Angus cattle to the United States. Most of the colonists, however, were remittance men more interested in sports and dancing than in raising livestock. Their families soon learned of this and reduced the remittances, driving most of the colonists to leave by 1880. Some returned to Britain; others left for South America.
In 1876, Volga Germans from villages near Saratov, Russia established the settlement of Herzog one half mile north of Victoria. Herzog's Roman Catholic settlers built a series of churches which culminated in the construction of St. Fidelis Catholic Church, known as "The Cathedral of the Plains," in 1911. Herzog grew rapidly and later absorbed Victoria, eventually adopting the older settlement's name. Herzog was officially renamed Victoria in 1913.
In 1942, the U.S. Army built Walker Army Airfield 3 miles northeast of Victoria. During World War II, thousands were stationed at the airfield, most for training in operation of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber aircraft. The military closed the base in 1946.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Victoria KS
Choosing the right registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Victoria KS.
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