How to Select a Nursing Program near Ferguson Kentucky
Selecting the best nursing college near Ferguson KY may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially 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 necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Ferguson KY hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Ferguson KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical 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) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two 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 acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 course of study adequately 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Ferguson KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 sure 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 additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Ferguson KY or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Ferguson KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. 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 contact some Ferguson 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 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Ferguson KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Ferguson KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Ferguson KY students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Ferguson KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Ferguson 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.
Champ Ferguson (November 29, 1821 – October 20, 1865) was a notorious Confederate guerrilla during the American Civil War. He claimed to have killed over 100 Union soldiers and pro-Union civilians. He was arrested, tried, and executed for war crimes by the US government after the war.
Ferguson was born in Clinton County, Kentucky, on the Tennessee border, the oldest of ten children. This area was known as the Kentucky Highlands and had more families who were yeomen farmers; they generally owned few slaves. Like his father, Ferguson became a farmer. But the younger Ferguson also earned a reputation for violence even before the American Civil War.
Reportedly, in 1858, he led a group of men who tied Sheriff James Read of Fentress County, Tennessee to a tree. Ferguson rode his horse in circles around the tree, hacking at Read repeatedly with a sword until he was dead. He also allegedly stabbed a man named Evans at a camp meeting, though Evans survived. In the 1850s, Ferguson moved with his wife and family to the Calfkiller River Valley in White County, Tennessee.
Select the Right Nursing School near Ferguson KY
Choosing the right registered nursing program is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Ferguson KY.
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