Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Salem KY

How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Salem Kentucky

Salem KY surgical nurse assisting surgeonSearching for the best nursing college near Salem KY may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Salem KY Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Salem KY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There is more than one degree option 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Salem KY area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 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 utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally 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 employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has earned 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 mandates.

LPN and LVN Programs

Salem KY LPN assisting patientThere are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Salem KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Salem KYNow that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Salem KY or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. 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 measures up to the field.

  • 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Salem KY for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies 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 reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Salem 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Salem KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
  • 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Salem KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Online Nursing Degrees

woman attending nursing school online in Salem KYEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many Salem KY students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Salem KY?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Salem 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.

Salem, Kentucky

Salem is a home rule-class city in Livingston County, Kentucky, in the United States. Salem is part of the Paducah micropolitan area. The population was 752 during the U.S. Census, down from 769 in 2000. It the largest city in Livingston County, although the unincorporated community of Ledbetter has more than twice the population of Salem.

The city is believed to have been settled c. 1800 by immigrants from Salem, North Carolina, who named their new community after their former home. It replaced Centerville as Livingston Co.'s seat in 1809 but was replaced in turn by Smithland in 1842 after the removal of Crittenden Co. left it more centrally-located.[3]

Salem is located at 37°15′53″N 88°14′28″W / 37.26472°N 88.24111°W / 37.26472; -88.24111 (37.264694, -88.241221).[4] According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.8 square miles (2.1 km2), all land.

Pick the Right Nursing School near Salem KY

Salem KY nursing studentSelecting the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in 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 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Salem KY.

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