How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Wathena Kansas
Finding the right nursing college near Wathena KS may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Wathena KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function 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 in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Wathena KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 education can be acquired at Wathena KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to 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 minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Wathena KS or online, you can utilize the following pointers 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 essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Wathena 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) together with 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wathena KS healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Wathena KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Wathena KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many Wathena KS students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly 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 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 very little time to work toward 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 Wathena KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wathena 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.
Wathena is located at 39°45′44″N 94°56′53″W / 39.76222°N 94.94806°W / 39.76222; -94.94806 (39.762161, -94.948117). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.31 square miles (5.98 km2), of which 2.28 square miles (5.91 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,364 people, 550 households, and 365 families residing in the city. The population density was 598.2 inhabitants per square mile (231.0/km2). There were 587 housing units at an average density of 257.5 per square mile (99.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.6% White, 1.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Asian, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
There were 550 households of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.6% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.92.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Wathena KS
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 practicing nurse in Wathena KS.
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