Category Archives: Oklahoma

Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Tahlequah OK

How to Choose a Nursing School near Tahlequah Oklahoma

Tahlequah OK surgical nurse assisting surgeonSelecting the best nursing school near Tahlequah OK may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Tahlequah OK Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Tahlequah OK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Tahlequah OK 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 medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 2 year program after acquiring 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 earned 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Programs

Tahlequah OK LPN assisting patientThere are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Tahlequah OK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Oklahoma 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 training is state approved. In addition to 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

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Tahlequah OKNow that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Tahlequah OK or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Oklahoma and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Tahlequah OK for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Tahlequah 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Tahlequah OK medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Tahlequah OK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Nursing Online Classes

woman attending nursing school online in Tahlequah OKAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Tahlequah OK students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Tahlequah OK?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tahlequah 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.

Tahlequah, Oklahoma

Tahlequah (/ˈtæləkwɑː/ TAL-ə-kwah; Cherokee: ᏓᎵᏆ)[4] is a city in Cherokee County, Oklahoma, United States located at the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. It is part of the Green Country region of Oklahoma and was established as a capital of the 19th-century Cherokee Nation in 1839, as part of the new settlement in Indian Territory after the Cherokee Native Americans were forced west from the American Southeast on the Trail of Tears.

It is the county seat of Cherokee County.[7] The main campus of Northeastern State University is located in the city. Tahlequah is the capital of the two federally recognized Cherokee tribes based in Oklahoma, the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians and the modern Cherokee Nation.

Many linguists believe the word 'Tahlequah' (Tah-le-quah) and the word 'Teh-li-co' are the same as 'di li gwa', the Cherokee word for grain or rice. (See Cherokee Nation Lexicon (dikaneisdi) at cherokee.org under culture/language). Scholars report the Cherokee word 'di li gwa' describes a type of native grain with a red hue that grew in the flat open areas of east Tennessee. One area, Great Tellico (Tellico Plains, Tennessee), was named for the grass with the red seed tops. Others interpret a word 'tel-i-quah' as 'plains'; however, there is no word for 'plains' in the Cherokee lexicon, and the word 'tel-i-quah' is not found in the lexicon. The idea that 'tahlequah' means 'plains' lends weight to the belief that the name refers to the wide open grassy areas of Great Tellico.

Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Tahlequah OK

Tahlequah OK nursing studentChoosing the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Tahlequah OK.

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