How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Vaughn New Mexico
Choosing the right nursing program near Vaughn NM may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Vaughn NM hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn 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 Vaughn NM area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the New Mexico board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing 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 seek, it should be New Mexico approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Vaughn NM area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for New Mexico 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 education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Vaughn NM or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Mexico and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Vaughn NM 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New Mexico or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the New Mexico school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Vaughn NM 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Vaughn NM healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Vaughn NM hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Vaughn NM students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Vaughn NM?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Vaughn New Mexico 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.
Vaughn, New Mexico
Vaughn is a town in Guadalupe County, New Mexico, United States. The population was 446 at the 2010 census, down from 539 at the 2000 census. It is located at an intersection of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific railroad lines.
Vaughn was established in the early 20th century as a Southern Pacific Railroad town. The town's importance grew when a second railroad, the Eastern Railway of New Mexico (an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe line from Belen to Clovis), was completed in 1907 with Vaughn as a division point. A large two-story depot, a roundhouse, and a Harvey House hotel were constructed shortly thereafter. Vaughn was incorporated in 1919 and in 1920 had a population of 888, according to the U.S. census.
The Guadalupe County Sheriff's Department, New Mexico Rangers, the New Mexico State Police and Motor Transportation Police and the Vaughn Police Department (presently a one-man agency) all patrol the town, which, according to the United States Homeland Security, is a known drug-smuggling route.
Select the Right Nursing School near Vaughn NM
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Vaughn NM.
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