Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Bowling Green KY

How to Choose a Nursing School near Bowling Green Kentucky

Bowling Green KY surgical nurse assisting surgeonLocating the best nursing school near Bowling Green KY may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Bowling Green KY Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Bowling Green KY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bowling Green KY area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

Bowling Green KY LPN assisting patientThere are generally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 kind 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 attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Courses

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Bowling Green 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, 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation 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 might be additional requirements as well.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Bowling Green KYOnce you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Bowling Green KY or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Bowling Green KY 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) in addition to 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 enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bowling Green KY healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish 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 Bowling Green KY medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Bowling Green KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Online Nursing Schools

woman attending nursing school online in Bowling Green KYAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Bowling Green KY students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Bowling Green KY?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bowling Green 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.

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Bowling Green is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Warren County, Kentucky, United States.[2] As of 2017, its population of 67,067 made it the third most-populous city in the state after Louisville and Lexington; its metropolitan area had an estimated population of 165,732; and the combined statistical area it shares with Glasgow has an estimated population of 218,870.[3][4][5]

Founded by pioneers in 1798, Bowling Green was the provisional capital of Confederate Kentucky during the American Civil War. The city was the subject of the 1967 Everly Brothers song "Bowling Green".

In the 21st century, it is the location of numerous manufacturers, including General Motors and Fruit of the Loom. The Bowling Green Assembly Plant has been the source of all Chevrolet Corvettes built since 1981. Bowling Green is also home to the state's second-largest public university, Western Kentucky University. In 2014, Forbes magazine listed Bowling Green as one of the Top 25 Best Places to Retire in the United States.[6]

Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Bowling Green KY

Bowling Green KY nursing studentDeciding on the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Bowling Green KY.

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