How to Choose a Nursing College near Sturgis Kentucky
Choosing the best nursing college near Sturgis KY may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Sturgis KY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Sturgis KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Sturgis KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Sturgis KY or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Sturgis KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards 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. In addition, get in touch with the Kentucky school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Sturgis 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 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 Sturgis KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Sturgis KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Sturgis KY students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Sturgis KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Sturgis 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.
Sturgis is a home rule-class city in Union County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,030 at the 2000 census. Located in northwest Kentucky, the city was founded in 1886 and named for Samuel Sturgis, who owned the land now occupied by the city.
The area surrounding what would become Sturgis was first settled by American Revolutionary War officers, mostly from Virginia, who had received bounty land for their service. The History of Union County, published in 1886 by The Courier Co., says, "The county had its aristocrats but the [Civil] War had a decidedly leveling tendency yet, there is a tolerably well defined line still marking the society of the county into different sets."
Sturgis was founded the same year as a company town by the Cumberland Land and Iron Company within its coal-mining development. The name derives from either Samuel P. Sturgis, who originally owned the townsite, or for Alida Livingston Sturgis (Samuel's sister), who was married to the president and general manager of the Ohio Valley Railroad Company. The community incorporated as a town on May 3, 1890, with population of 327. The town was reclassified as a city in the 1920s.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Sturgis KY
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Sturgis KY.
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