How to Choose a Nursing Program near Winnsboro Louisiana
Choosing the right nursing school near Winnsboro LA may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Winnsboro LA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Winnsboro LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Louisiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 Louisiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Winnsboro LA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Winnsboro LA or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Louisiana and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Winnsboro 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Louisiana or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Louisiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Winnsboro 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 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Winnsboro LA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Winnsboro LA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Winnsboro LA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Winnsboro LA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Winnsboro 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.
Winnsboro is a city in, and the parish seat of Franklin Parish, Louisiana, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 4,910, down from 5,344 in 2000. The city is 59 percent African American.U.S. Highway 425 passes north–south through Winnsboro concurrent with Louisiana Highway 15 and extends northward to Rayville, the seat of neighboring Richland Parish.
Franklin Parish was created on March 1, 1843, from portions of Ouachita, Catahoula, and Madison parishes through the efforts of Senator John Winn. The parish was named in honor of Benjamin Franklin. Land for a centrally located parish seat, Winnsborough (later Winnsboro), was purchased in 1844. It was designated as the parish seat of government in 1846 and incorporated on March 18, 1902, during the administration of Governor William Wright Heard.
Early Winnsboro City records show that the telephone came to Winnsboro in 1905; electricity in 1914; and water and sewer service in 1923. In 1924, a volunteer fire department was formed. In 1938 a bond issue to build the present municipal building was approved, and the following year citizens agreed to the purchase of the Landis municipal park property. Most of the community's streets were hard surfaced after 1950.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Winnsboro LA
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Winnsboro LA.
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