How to Select a Nursing Program near Lake Providence Louisiana
Searching for the right nursing program near Lake Providence LA may feel like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Lake Providence LA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Lake Providence LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, 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 alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Lake Providence LA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Lake Providence LA or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Louisiana and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Lake Providence LA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana 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 considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Louisiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Lake Providence 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 looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lake Providence LA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Lake Providence LA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Lake Providence LA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lake Providence LA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lake Providence 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.
Lake Providence, Louisiana
Lake Providence is a town in and the parish seat of East Carroll Parish in northeastern Louisiana. The population was 5,104 at the 2000 census but declined by more than 20 percent to 3,991 in 2010. The town's poverty rate is approximately 55 percent; the average median household income is $16,500, and the average age is 31.
The town shares its name with the oxbow lake of the Mississippi River, also called Lake Providence. This area was historically developed as cotton plantations before and after the Civil War, and remains largely rural. The Union Army developed a supply depot near the lake during the Civil War, and its camp was crowded with refugee slaves seeking their freedom. The town grew larger at this site.
In the late 18th century goods such as animal pelts, indigo, and cotton were transported on the Mississippi River by people commonly known as longboat men, named for the type of craft that carried the goods. These were eventually replaced by steamboats. Thieves and pirates raided the longboats, killing the crew and selling the goods. Bunch's Bend is named for a pirate who would raid the boats at this place, where they had to maneuver the bend in the river. If the longboat men made it past Bunch's Bend without being robbed, they would say they, "made it to Providence."
Select the Right Nursing College near Lake Providence LA
Picking the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Lake Providence LA.
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