How to Choose a Nursing College near Geismar Louisiana
Choosing the right nursing college near Geismar LA may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Geismar LA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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.
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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Geismar LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Louisiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain 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, along with providing 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 seek, it should be Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 instruction can be received at Geismar LA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Geismar LA or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Louisiana and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Geismar LA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Louisiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Geismar LA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Geismar LA 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 environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Geismar LA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted 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 college for some Geismar LA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Geismar LA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Geismar 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.
Geismar is an unincorporated community in Ascension Parish, Louisiana, United States and is at the heart of Louisiana's chemical corridor. Geismar is south of Prairieville and west of Gonzales. The community has two schools, Dutchtown Primary/ Middle School and Dutchtown High School, which are ranked among the top schools in the state of Louisiana. The Mississippi River flows to the southeast along the southwest side of the community. The area is vulnerable to hurricanes and tropical systems due to its low elevation and its proximity to the coast of southeast Louisiana.
On the morning of June 13, 2013, an explosion occurred at the Williams Olefins plant in Geismar. The plant produces 1.3 billion pounds of ethylene and 90 million pounds of polymer grade propylene annually. Over 70 people were injured in the explosion, and two people were killed.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Geismar LA
Selecting the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Geismar LA.
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