How to Pick a Nursing School near Winnfield Louisiana
Searching for the best nursing program near Winnfield LA may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Winnfield LA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer 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 to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Winnfield LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 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 acquired 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. 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 mandates.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Winnfield LA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Winnfield LA or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Louisiana and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Winnfield LA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Louisiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Winnfield 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 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 displeased 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 Winnfield LA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Winnfield LA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Winnfield LA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Winnfield LA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Winnfield 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.
Winnfield is a small city in the parish seat of Winn Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,749 at the 2000 census, and 4,840 in 2010. Three governors of the state of Louisiana were from Winnfield.
When Winn Parish was officially formed by the state legislature in 1852, Winnfield was established as the parish seat. During the Civil War, the area around Winnfield was the site of some minor skirmishes. Confederate forces defeated a Union detachment sent to destroy the Cary Salt Works in the area.
Three Louisiana governors were Winnfield natives and grew up here: Huey Long, Oscar K. Allen and Earl Long. Huey Long became governor, U.S. Senator. He was assassinated in 1935. Oscar K. Allen was elected governor in 1932. Earl Long, "the Louisiana Longshot," served in a variety of state positions, said to be more than other Louisianan, including elective office. He was elected governor in 1939, 1948 and 1956. He was elected to Congress in 1960 but died before he could assume office.
Select the Right Nursing College near Winnfield LA
Choosing the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Winnfield LA.
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