How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Barlow Kentucky
Finding the right nursing school near Barlow KY may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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, such as Barlow KY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
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 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 brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Barlow KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 prior 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction 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 course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Barlow KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Barlow KY or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Barlow KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Kentucky school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Barlow KY 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 colleges you are looking at 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Barlow KY medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Barlow KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Barlow KY students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Barlow KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Barlow Kentucky 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.
Barlow is a home rule-class city in Ballard County, Kentucky, in the United States. The city was formally incorporated by the state assembly in 1872 as Barlow City and later reïncorporated in 1903. The population was 675 as of the 2010 census. It is part of the Paducah, KY-IL Micropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2010, there were 675 people, 309 households, and 182 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,350 per square mile (520/km2). There were 356 housing units at an average density of 712 per square mile (275/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.9% White, 4.0% African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.4% of other races, and 3.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.3% of the population.
There were 309 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.6% were married couples living together, 19.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.1% were non-families. 36.6% of all households were made up of individuals living alone and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.18 and the average family size was 2.82.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Barlow KY
Choosing the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Barlow KY.
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