How to Select a Nursing School near Tompkinsville Kentucky
Locating the right nursing program near Tompkinsville KY may seem like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Tompkinsville KY hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Tompkinsville KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Tompkinsville KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Tompkinsville KY or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Tompkinsville KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Tompkinsville 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 schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Tompkinsville KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Tompkinsville KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many Tompkinsville KY students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Tompkinsville KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tompkinsville 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.
Tompkinsville is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Monroe County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 2,402 at the 2010 census, down from 2,660 in 2000. The city was named after Vice President Daniel D. Tompkins who served under President James Monroe, for whom the county was named.
Site of Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan's first raid of his famous First Kentucky Raid. July 9, 1862, Morgan's Raiders, coming from Tennessee on their first raid into Kentucky, attacked Major Thomas J. Jordan's 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry at USA garrison. Raiders captured 30 of retreating enemy and destroyed tents and stores. They took 20 wagons, 50 mules, 40 horses, sugar and coffee supplies. At Glasgow they burned supplies, then went north, raiding 16 other towns before returning to Tennessee.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2), of which, 3.7 square miles (9.6 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2) of it (4.69%) is water.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Tompkinsville KY
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select 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 nurse in Tompkinsville KY.
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