How to Pick a Nursing Program near Starke Florida
Choosing the best nursing program near Starke FL may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Starke FL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid 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. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Starke FL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying 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 pursue, it needs to be Florida approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Starke FL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Florida or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Starke FL or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Florida and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things 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 see how your pick 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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Starke FL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a certain 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Florida school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Starke FL 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 colleges 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Starke FL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Starke FL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Starke FL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward 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 Starke FL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Starke Florida 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.
Starke may have been named in honor of developer George W. Cole's fiancée or in honor of Madison Starke Perry, fourth governor of Florida and a Confederate States Army colonel. The Florida Department of State, Division of Historical Resources, adds that the city may have been named after "Thomas Starke, a slaveholder who once owned much land around the area."
Starke is located in east-central Bradford County at 29°56′50″N 82°6′29″W / 29.94722°N 82.10806°W / 29.94722; -82.10806 (29.947155, -82.108113).U.S. Route 301 passes through the center of the city, leading north 26 miles (42 km) to Baldwin and Interstate 10 and southwest (via State Road 24) 25 miles (40 km) to Gainesville.
Starke is located approximately 8 miles (13 km) west of Florida's National Guard base, Camp Blanding, and is approximately 10 miles (16 km) southeast of Florida State Prison, Union Correctional Institution, and New River East Correctional Institution.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Starke FL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Starke FL.
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