How to Pick a Nursing Program near Talihina Oklahoma
Locating the best nursing school near Talihina OK may seem like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Talihina OK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available 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 just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Talihina OK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually 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 usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Oklahoma approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Talihina OK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. 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 Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Talihina OK or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Oklahoma and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Talihina OK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Talihina OK 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Talihina OK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Talihina OK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some Talihina OK students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Talihina OK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Talihina Oklahoma 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.
Talihina (pronounced "tah-luh-HEE-nuh") is a town in Le Flore County, Oklahoma, United States, its name originating from two Choctaw words, tully and hena, meaning iron road. Iron road is reference to the railroad that the town was built around. It is part of the Fort Smith, Arkansas–Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,114 at the 2010 census, a loss of 8.0 percent from 1,211 at the 2000 census.
Talihina received its name in 1886–1887 when the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway (Frisco) built a line through the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory. The railroad opened the surrounding area to ship cattle, timber, and cotton to Eastern markets and facilitated growth of the town. When Talihina incorporated in 1905, the town claimed a population of 400. Two major hospitals, the Choctaw-Chickasaw Tuberculosis Sanatorium and the Eastern Oklahoma State Tuberculosis Sanatorium, were built here between 1915 and 1921. By 1920, the population had grown to 690.
Tourism and recreation have been a major economic stimulus since the 1920s. Six lakes have been built in the Kiamichi Valley, attracting sportsmen and campers. Talimena State Park and Old Military Road historic site (National Register of Historic Places, NR 76002155) are 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Talihina. This is the western end of Talimena Scenic Drive, which runs to Mena, Arkansas and attracts many people to view the fall foliage.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Talihina OK
Picking the right registered nursing program is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Talihina OK.
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