How to Pick a Nursing School near Westmoreland Kansas
Searching for the best nursing college near Westmoreland KS may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Westmoreland KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Westmoreland KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two 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 use 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 in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Westmoreland KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Westmoreland KS or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Westmoreland 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in 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 working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Westmoreland 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Westmoreland KS medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Westmoreland KS hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming 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 almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Westmoreland KS students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Westmoreland KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Westmoreland 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.
Westmoreland is located at 39°23′41″N 96°24′51″W / 39.39472°N 96.41417°W / 39.39472; -96.41417 (39.394770, -96.414154). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.52 square miles (1.35 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 778 people, 301 households, and 192 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,496.2 inhabitants per square mile (577.7/km2). There were 337 housing units at an average density of 648.1 per square mile (250.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.5% White, 0.4% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% Pacific Islander, 0.9% from other races, and 0.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.
There were 301 households of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 9.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.2% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.97.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Westmoreland KS
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select an RN college 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 short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Westmoreland KS.
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