How to Select a Nursing School near La Grange Kentucky
Searching for the best nursing school near La Grange KY may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely La Grange KY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered 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 just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the La Grange KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies 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 subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at La Grange KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near La Grange KY or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in La Grange KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some La Grange 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 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 good reputation within the La Grange KY medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially 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. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with La Grange KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many La Grange KY students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near La Grange KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater La Grange 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.
La Grange, Kentucky
La Grange was founded in 1827 when the Oldham county seat was relocated from Westport at the suggestion of Maj. William Berry Taylor.[why?] The new town was named for Château de la Grange-Bléneau, the French country estate of Gilbert du Motier, the American Revolutionary hero better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, who had visited the area in 1824. For unknown reasons, the county seat returned to Westport from 1828 to 1838 before settling at La Grange. The city was formally incorporated by the state legislature on January 23, 1840.
An unusual feature of La Grange is the CSX Transportation mainline on Main Street. The only other American locales to have a street running mainline track are Jack London Square in Oakland, California and CSS in Michigan City, Indiana.
The Kentucky Department of Corrections maintains four correctional facilities in La Grange. Construction began on the Kentucky State Reformatory, the largest prison in the state, in 1937, with the prison opening in 1939. Roederer Correctional Complex, which houses the Assessment and Classification Center where male inmates not sentenced to death enter the state prison system, was built in 1976. The Luther Luckett Correctional Complex and Kentucky Correctional Psychiatric Center, both built in the same facility but technically two separate prisons, opened in 1983. Approximately 4,000 inmates of various security levels are housed at these institutions.
Pick the Right Nursing College near La Grange KY
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in La Grange KY.
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