How to Select a Nursing College near Pinsonfork Kentucky
Locating the right nursing school near Pinsonfork KY may feel like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Pinsonfork KY hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Pinsonfork KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering 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 type 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 guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Pinsonfork KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Pinsonfork KY or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Pinsonfork KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a certain 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 excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 Pinsonfork 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Pinsonfork KY medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Pinsonfork KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Pinsonfork KY students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited 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 hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Pinsonfork KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Pinsonfork 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.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Pinsonfork KY
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Pinsonfork KY.
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