How to Choose a Nursing Program near Carrollton Kentucky
Locating the best nursing school near Carrollton KY may seem like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Carrollton KY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Carrollton KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally 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 period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative 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, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 training can be received at Carrollton KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 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 instruction, 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 necessary to make certain 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 certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Carrollton KY or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Carrollton KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online 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. Additionally, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Carrollton 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Carrollton KY medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually 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 Carrollton KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Carrollton KY students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Carrollton KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Carrollton 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.
Carrollton bus collision
The Carrollton bus collision occurred on May 14, 1988, on Interstate 71 in unincorporated Carroll County, Kentucky. Involving a former school bus in use by a church youth group and a pickup truck driven by an impaired driver, the head-on collision was the deadliest incident involving drunk driving and the third-deadliest bus crash in United States history. Of the 67 people on the bus (counting the driver), there were 27 fatalities in the accident, the same number as the 1958 Prestonsburg, Kentucky, bus disaster and behind the 1976 Yuba City bus disaster (29) and 1963 Chualar bus crashes (32).
In the aftermath of the disaster, several family members of victims became active leaders of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), and one (Karolyn Nunnallee) became national president of the organization. The standards for both operation and equipment for school buses and similar buses were improved in Kentucky and many other states. These include an increased number of emergency exits, higher standards for structural integrity, and the use of less volatile diesel fuel (over gasoline). On Interstate 71, the crash site is marked with a highway sign erected by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC). To this day, memorial items such as crosses and flower arrangements are placed at the site by families and friends.
On May 14, 1988, a youth group consisting of mostly teenagers who attended North Hardin High School, James T. Alton Middle School, Radcliff Middle School and four adults from Assembly of God in Radcliff, Kentucky boarded their church activity bus and headed to Kings Island theme park in Mason, Ohio (north of Cincinnati, about 170 miles from Radcliff). The group included church members and their invited guests. As everyone arrived early that Saturday morning, those wanting to go on the trip had grown to more than originally anticipated. The church's principal pastor (who stayed behind) restricted the ridership to the legal limit of 66 persons plus the driver.
Select the Right Nursing School near Carrollton KY
Choosing the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Carrollton KY.
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