Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Oakdale LA

How to Pick a Nursing School near Oakdale Louisiana

Oakdale LA surgical nurse assisting surgeonFinding the best nursing college near Oakdale LA may feel like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Oakdale LA Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Oakdale LA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Degree Options

There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Oakdale LA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Louisiana board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Programs

Oakdale LA LPN assisting patientThere are essentially two scholastic 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, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Oakdale LA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Oakdale LAOnce you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Oakdale LA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Louisiana and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Oakdale 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Oakdale LA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 superb reputation within the Oakdale LA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Oakdale LA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Nursing Online Schools

woman attending nursing school online in Oakdale LAEnrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Oakdale LA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Oakdale LA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Oakdale 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.

Oakdale, Louisiana

Oakdale was founded as "Dunnsville" by William T. Dunn. The history of Allen Parish is preserved at the Leatherwood Museum, which reopened on September 27, 2008, in a renovated facility at 202 E. 7th Ave. in Oakdale.[4]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.3 square miles (13.6 km2), of which 5.2 square miles (13.4 km2) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.2 km2), or 1.18%, is water.[3] Oakdale's closest neighbor in Allen Parish is Elizabeth, located just west of Oakdale.

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 8,137 people, 2,246 households, and 1,525 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,603.6 people per square mile (619.7/km²). There were 2,512 housing units at an average density of 495.1 per square mile (191.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 62.07% White, 34.94% African American, 0.57% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 0.85% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 12.22% of the population.

Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Oakdale LA

Oakdale LA nursing studentEnrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Oakdale LA.

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