How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Elkton Kentucky
Locating the best nursing program near Elkton KY may seem like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Elkton KY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Elkton KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 desire 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 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.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Elkton KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Elkton KY or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Elkton KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Kentucky school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Elkton 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Elkton KY medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Elkton KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Elkton 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 can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Elkton KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Elkton 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.
The city was founded by Major John Gray and established by the state assembly in 1820. It is named for a nearby watering hole previously hosting a large elk herd. It was formally incorporated in 1843.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,984 people, 810 households, and 541 families residing in the city. The population density was 959.4 people per square mile (370.1/km²). There were 928 housing units at an average density of 448.8 per square mile (173.1/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 82.31% White, 15.68% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 1.21% from other races, and 0.35% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.32% of the population.
There were 810 households out of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.7% were married couples living together, 19.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.82.
Select the Right Nursing College near Elkton KY
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent 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 pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Elkton KY.
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