How to Pick a Nursing Program near Berea Kentucky
Searching for the right nursing program near Berea KY may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Berea KY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as 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
- Maintaining 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Berea KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Berea 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Berea KY or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Berea KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Berea KY healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Berea KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Berea KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually 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 option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many Berea KY students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive 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 numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Berea KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Berea 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.
Berea is a home rule-class city in Madison County, Kentucky, in the United States. The town is best known for its art festivals, historic restaurants and buildings, and as the home to Berea College, a private, liberal arts college. The population was 13,561 at the 2010 census. It is one of the fastest-growing towns in Kentucky, having increased by 27.4% since 2000.
In 1850 this area, called the Glade, was a community of scattered farms with a racetrack and citizens sympathetic to emancipation. In 1853, rich and politically ambitious Cassius Marcellus Clay gave Reverend John Gregg Fee a free tract of land in the Glade. With local supporters and other abolitionist missionaries from the American Missionary Association, Fee established two churches (First Christian Church and Union Church), a tiny village, and Berea College. Fee named Berea after a biblical town Berea (today Veria) in Macedonia, northern Greece, where the people "received the Word with all readiness of mind."
Founded in 1855, Berea College was the only interracial and coeducational college in the South for nearly forty years. Its motto is "God has made of one blood all peoples of the Earth," a paraphrase of Acts 17:26. Reverend Fee modeled it on Oberlin College in Ohio and hoped it would become an academic beacon to Northern students. Pro-slavery supporters expelled Fee and his followers from Berea in 1859, in the aftermath of John Brown's Raid. Fee had delivered an address at the Pilgrim Church in Brooklyn, New York, in the pulpit of Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. Fee's remarks were reported in the New York Times, but were misrepresented in the Louisville Courier. Subsequently, everyone at the college was given ten days to leave the state. Most lived in Cincinnati or nearby northern towns for several years, returning for good after the war.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Berea KY
Selecting the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 licensed RN in Berea KY.
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