How to Select a Nursing College near Wall South Dakota
Locating the right nursing college near Wall SD may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along 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 numerous different medical settings, such as Wall SD hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role 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 in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Wall SD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
There 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 period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with 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 type of credential you pursue, it should be South Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Wall SD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 amount of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 approved. 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Wall SD or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout South Dakota and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Wall 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the South Dakota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wall SD 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 schools you are considering 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Wall SD medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Wall SD hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Wall SD students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Wall SD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wall 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.
Wall, South Dakota
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.22 square miles (5.75 km2), of which, 2.17 square miles (5.62 km2) of it is land and 0.05 square miles (0.13 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 766 people, 359 households, and 212 families residing in the town. The population density was 353.0 inhabitants per square mile (136.3/km2). There were 436 housing units at an average density of 200.9 per square mile (77.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 88.9% White, 0.1% African American, 7.0% Native American, 0.1% Asian, and 3.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.0% of the population.
There were 359 households of which 21.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.6% were married couples living together, 4.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.9% were non-families. 39.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.13 and the average family size was 2.82.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Wall SD
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Wall SD.
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