How to Find the Right Nursing School near Somerset Kentucky
Choosing the right nursing program near Somerset KY may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend 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, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Somerset KY hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 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 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 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 Somerset KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally 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 attained 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should 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 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Somerset KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 required to obtain 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 minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Somerset KY or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Somerset 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. Some states require a specific 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 provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit 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 as well. Also, get in touch with the Kentucky school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Somerset 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Somerset KY medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Somerset KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Somerset KY students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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 job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Somerset KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Somerset 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.
Somerset was first settled in 1798 by Thomas Hansford and received its name from Somerset County, New Jersey, where some of the early settlers had formerly lived. Somerset became the Pulaski County seat in 1802, and it was incorporated as a city in 1887. A significant Civil War battle was fought in January 1862, at Mill Springs (now "Nancy") about 8 miles (13 km) west of Somerset, and a museum is at the site. A smaller battle was fought nearby at Dutton's Hill in 1863. In 1875 tracks for the Southern Railroad were completed and Somerset saw a sudden population growth and an increase in industry. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, library services were provided by the pack horse library. The completion of Lake Cumberland in 1950 transformed Somerset from a sleepy rural community into one of the largest recreation centers in Kentucky, drawing more than 1.7 million visitors annually, especially between the Memorial and Labor Day holidays.
Somerset is located at 37°4′59″N 84°36′34″W / 37.08306°N 84.60944°W / 37.08306; -84.60944 (37.082966, -84.609387), and the downtown (central) part of the city is at an elevation of 974 feet above sea level. The city is located at the eastern end of Kentucky's Mississippian Plateau (or Pennyroyal Plateau); however, the micropolitan area extends eastward into the Appalachian Plateau (or Eastern Kentucky Coalfield), and northward to Kentucky's Outer Bluegrass region. Thus, the area shows significant variations in landforms and scenery.
Nearby Lake Cumberland is one of the largest man-made lakes in the world (101 miles in length, with an average depth of 85 feet (26 m) and a normal pool containing more than 2 trillion gallons of water). Somerset is also near Cumberland Falls and the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area; its tourism industries are, in part, due to its scenic and varied landscape.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Somerset KY
Selecting the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Somerset KY.
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