How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Washington Kentucky
Finding the best nursing program near Washington KY may seem like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Washington KY hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Washington KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish 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 attests that the syllabus 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Washington KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Washington KY or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Washington KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Washington 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Washington KY medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Washington KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Washington KY students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more 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. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Washington KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Washington 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.
Mount Washington, Kentucky
Mount Washington is a home rule-class city in northeast Bullitt County, Kentucky, in the United States. The population was 9,117 at the 2010 census. The city is one of several surrounding Louisville that have experienced a sharp rise in population in the past three decades, becoming a commuter town.
Mount Washington is located at what was once the crossroads of two stagecoach routes and was originally known as The Cross Roads. It was formally established in 1822 as Mount Vernon, after President George Washington's Virginia home, but it was unable to continue using the name because another town's post office had priority. At the time, the settlement housed c. 700 people and boasted three churches, two schools, six stores and groceries, five doctors, two taverns, and twelve mechanical trades. At the time of its (first) formal incorporation as a city in 1833, the town's name was changed to "Mount Washington", again in honor of the first United States president.
Mount Washington became the economic center of Bullitt County by the 1850s. In the autumn of 1862, during the Civil War, the town was held by John Wharton's Confederate cavalry, who skirmished with Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Crittenden's men north of Mount Washington along Floyds Fork on October 1. A defeat the following day led to a Confederate retreat from the area.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Washington KY
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Washington KY.
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