How to Select a Nursing College near Willow River Minnesota
Selecting the best nursing college near Willow River MN may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Willow River MN hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Willow River MN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 want 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 generally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Willow River MN area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Willow River MN or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Minnesota and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with 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 final 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Willow River MN for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Willow River MN 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Willow River MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Willow River MN hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many 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 facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Willow River MN students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Willow River MN?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Willow River Minnesota 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.
Willow River, Minnesota
As of the census of 2010, there were 415 people, 173 households, and 103 families residing in the city. The population density was 242.7 inhabitants per square mile (93.7/km2). There were 199 housing units at an average density of 116.4 per square mile (44.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.7% White, 0.2% African American, 1.4% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 2.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.
There were 173 households of which 31.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.0% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.5% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.03.
The median age in the city was 35.1 years. 26% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.9% were from 25 to 44; 23.5% were from 45 to 64; and 12.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.7% male and 52.3% female.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Willow River MN
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Willow River MN.
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