How to Pick a Nursing School near Winchester Kansas
Choosing the right nursing program near Winchester KS may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Winchester KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Winchester KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next 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, in addition to supplying 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 pursue, 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 effectively 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 attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Winchester KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimal amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain 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 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Winchester KS or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Winchester 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Winchester 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Winchester KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain 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. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Winchester KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some Winchester KS students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Winchester KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Winchester 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.
Winchester is a city and the county town of Hampshire, England. The city lies at the heart of the wider City of Winchester, a local government district, and is located at the western end of the South Downs National Park, along the course of the River Itchen. It is situated 61 miles (98 km) south-west of London and 13.6 miles (21.9 km) from Southampton, its closest city. At the time of the 2011 Census, Winchester had a population of 45,184. The wider City of Winchester district which includes towns such as Alresford and Bishop's Waltham has a population of 116,800. 
Winchester developed from the Roman town of Venta Belgarum, which in turn developed from an Iron Age oppidum. Winchester's major landmark is Winchester Cathedral, one of the largest cathedrals in Europe, with the distinction of having the longest nave and overall length of all Gothic cathedrals in Europe. The city is home to the University of Winchester and Winchester College, the oldest public school in the United Kingdom still using its original buildings.
The area around Winchester has been inhabited since prehistoric times, with three Iron Age hillforts, Oram's Arbour, St. Catherine's Hill, and Worthy Down all in the nearby vicinity. In the Late Iron Age, a more urban settlement type developed, known as an oppidum, although the archaeology of this phase remains obscure. It was overrun by the confederation of Gaulish tribes known as the Belgae sometime during the first century BCE. It seems to have been known as Wentā or Venta, from the Brittonic for "town" or "meeting place".
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Winchester KS
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Winchester KS.
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