How to Pick a Nursing College near Stuart Oklahoma
Locating the best nursing program near Stuart OK may seem like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Stuart OK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty 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 area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Stuart OK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering 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 seek, it should be Oklahoma approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Stuart OK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Stuart OK or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Oklahoma and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Stuart OK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Stuart 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 Stuart OK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially 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 Stuart OK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Stuart OK students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Stuart OK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Stuart 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.
Stuart is located in southeastern Hughes County at 34°54′3″N 96°6′0″W / 34.90083°N 96.10000°W / 34.90083; -96.10000 (34.900839, -96.100035).U.S. Route 270 passes just north of the town, leading east 20 miles (32 km) to McAlester and west 10 miles (16 km) to Calvin. Holdenville, the Hughes county seat, is 27 miles (43 km) to the northwest via US 270.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Stuart has a total area of 0.3 square miles (0.7 km2), all of it land. Coal Creek runs through the northwest corner of the town, flowing east toward Eufaula Lake on the Canadian River.
As of the census of 2000, there were 220 people, 92 households, and 65 families residing in the town. The population density was 797.1 people per square mile (303.4/km²). There were 107 housing units at an average density of 387.7 per square mile (147.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 84.55% White, 13.18% Native American, and 2.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.09% of the population.
Select the Right Nursing College near Stuart OK
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical 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 ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Stuart OK.
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