How to Select a Nursing Program near Lander Wyoming
Searching for the right nursing program near Lander WY may seem like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Lander WY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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.
There are multiple degrees available 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Lander WY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position 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 higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Wyoming board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Wyoming approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Lander WY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Wyoming or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Lander WY or on the web, 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 throughout Wyoming and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Lander WY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Wyoming or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Wyoming school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Lander WY 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Lander WY medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Lander WY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Lander WY 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 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. So if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lander WY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lander Wyoming 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.
Lander is a city in Wyoming and the county seat of Fremont County, Wyoming, United States. Named for transcontinental explorer Frederick W. Lander, Lander is located in central Wyoming, along the Middle Fork of the Popo Agie River. A tourism center with several dude ranches nearby, Lander is located just south of the Wind River Indian Reservation. The population was 7,487 at the 2010 census.
Lander was known as Pushroot, Fort Brown, and Fort Auger prior to its current name. The town was named Lander in honor of General Frederick W. Lander, a famous transcontinental explorer who surveyed the Oregon Trail's Lander Cutoff. Several miles southeast of town near present-day U.S. Route 287 is the site of Wyoming's first oil well, circa 1884. The town was incorporated in 1890.
On October 1, 1906, Lander became the westward terminus of the "Cowboy Line" of the Chicago and North Western Railway, thus originating the slogan "where rails end and trails begin." Originally intended to be a transcontinental mainline to Coos Bay, Oregon, or Eureka, California, the line never went further west, and service to Lander was abandoned in 1972.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Lander WY
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Lander WY.
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