How to Pick a Nursing College near Broussard Louisiana
Choosing the best nursing program near Broussard LA may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Broussard LA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Broussard LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally 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 kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Broussard LA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Broussard LA or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Louisiana and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Broussard LA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, 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 meet the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Broussard LA 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Broussard LA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Broussard LA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Broussard LA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Broussard LA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Broussard Louisiana 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.
The community was originally named Côte Gelée (Frozen Hills) because of its hilly ridge area and the severe winter of 1784. Broussard was founded in 1884. It was named after Valsin Broussard, a prominent local merchant, who formed the first vigilante committee when his own store was robbed. He was also a direct descendant of Joseph Gaurhept Broussard de Beau Soleil, one of the first 200 Acadians to arrive in Louisiana on February 27, 1765 aboard the Santo Domingo.
Primary agricultural resources include sugarcane, soybean and hay production as well as horse and cattle farming. Principal industries consist of oil and gas service companies, food distributors, real estate developments and manufacturing.
Broussard has gone from a horse and buggy community, with large sugarcane plantation homes, to a current day industrial community with over 300 businesses. It was designated a city in November 2002. Yet, one still experiences its charm though the atmosphere of elegant Creole home cooking and cajun food at the local restaurants.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Broussard LA
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Broussard LA.
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