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Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Wessington SD

How to Choose a Nursing Program near Wessington South Dakota

Wessington SD surgical nurse assisting surgeonLocating the right nursing school near Wessington SD may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Wessington SD Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Wessington SD hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Wessington SD area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.

LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees

Wessington SD LPN assisting patientThere are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be South Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Wessington SD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must 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 necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for South Dakota 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Wessington SDOnce you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Wessington SD or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within South Dakota and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.

  • 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Wessington SD for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for South Dakota or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the South Dakota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wessington SD 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Wessington SD medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Wessington SD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Nursing Online Degrees

woman attending nursing school online in Wessington SDAttending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Wessington SD students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Wessington SD?

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

Wessington, South Dakota

The early growth of Wessington began because it was a transshipment point for locally produced grains[9] because of the railroad (C. & N.W. Ry. Co.[10]). This allowed local producers lower shipping costs compared to villages further from railroads, encouraging the location of other businesses in the town. Wessington originally was located in Beadle County, and the cohesiveness the community soon led to growth into neighboring Hand County.

In 1918 there was a flourishing natural ice business that provisioned refrigerated freight cars.[11] The cattle industry in the area has increased the market quality of the nation's cattle through improvements in herd management and adaptations to changing consumer demands. Many producers have received national recognition throughout the years.[12]

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 170 people, 91 households, and 44 families residing in the city. The population density was 447.4 inhabitants per square mile (172.7/km2). There were 139 housing units at an average density of 365.8 per square mile (141.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.8% White and 1.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.

Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Wessington SD

Wessington SD nursing studentDeciding on the right registered nursing school is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 licensed RN in Wessington SD.

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