How to Find the Right Nursing School near Independence Louisiana
Searching for the right nursing program near Independence LA may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order 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 choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Independence LA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 is more than one degree option offered 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Independence LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly 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 instruction can be obtained at Independence LA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Independence LA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Louisiana and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Independence LA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Louisiana school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Independence 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 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 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 Independence LA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Independence LA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Independence 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 easily affordable. 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 little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Independence LA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Independence 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.
Independence, originally known as Uncle Sam, is a town in Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 1,665 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Hammond Micropolitan Statistical Area.
The move to establish Independence as a town was led in the early 20th century by State Representative Harry D. Wilson, who subsequently served from 1916 until his death early in 1948 as the Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture and Forestry. Wilson was a son of Dr. and Mrs. William D. Wilson. In 1856, Dr. Wilson had built a store in Independence, which remained for years the oldest building in the community. Harry Wilson worked in the parish seat of Amite in the general store of the merchant Jacob Stern at a time when Tangipahoa Parish did not yet depend on the strawberry crop. During the 1890s, Wilson was an express messenger for the Illinois Central Railroad. He left that position to pursue a political career.
Affectionately known by voters as "Uncle Harry" or "Mister Harry", Wilson served two nonconsecutive terms in the state House from 1900 to 1904 and again from 1908 to 1912. A strong promoter of his hometown of Independence, located five miles to the south of Amite, Wilson in 1902 and 1903 corresponded with Governor William Wright Heard regarding incorporation of the community, which at the time had a population of 308. Governor Heard informed Wilson that he considered the three square miles proposed for the new town as too much land for a small village and suggested that the tract be reduced in size. Originally named "Uncle Sam", Independence had begun in 1852 when the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern Railroad began operating through the area. Independence was finally proclaimed a town on August 22, 1912.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Independence LA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Independence LA.
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