How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Winona Lake Indiana
Choosing the best nursing college near Winona Lake IN may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order 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 measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at the nursing degree choices that are offered along with what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Winona Lake IN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring 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 earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Indiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an integral component of a Winona Lake IN medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although many nurses provide direct patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Winona Lake IN hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Indiana 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Winona Lake IN area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Indiana 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 sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Winona Lake IN students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Winona Lake IN or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Indiana and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Winona Lake IN 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. Certain states require a certain 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Indiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Winona Lake IN 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Winona Lake IN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Winona Lake IN hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Winona Lake IN?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Winona Lake Indiana area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both interesting and useful regarding the location of your school campus.
Winona Lake, Indiana
Winona Lake is located at 41°13′15″N 85°49′2″W / 41.22083°N 85.81722°W / 41.22083; -85.81722 (41.220818, -85.817118). It is now contiguous to Warsaw, the two towns having run into each other as they have expanded.
According to the 2010 census, Winona Lake has a total area of 3.25 square miles (8.42 km2), of which 2.76 square miles (7.15 km2) (or 84.92%) is land and 0.49 square miles (1.27 km2) (or 15.08%) is water.
Winona Lake is best known for the lake it is named after and built on, although the lake was originally known as Eagle Lake. Located along the eastern shore of the lake, the Winona Lake Historic District includes various historic homes and other buildings that attest to the area's history as a Chautauqua and Bible conference hotspot. It is also the home of Grace College and Grace Theological Seminary and was the home of famed preacher and professional baseball player Billy Sunday who died in 1935. The Billy Sunday Home has been preserved as a museum. Christian musician and preacher Homer Rodeheaver also made Winona Lake his home from 1912 until his death in 1955. The Winona School of Professional Photography was started there in 1912 (as the Indiana School of Photography) and was operated by the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) until its move to Chicago (Mount Prospect) in 1988. Famous photographers from around the world taught there during summer-only classes. The now defunct Winona College was founded here, and the Winona Lake School of Theology was located here from 1920 to 1970. Winona Lake was also home to the headquarters of The Free Methodist Church until it moved its offices to Indianapolis in 1990.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Winona Lake IN
Deciding on the right nursing college is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Accredited Nursing Programs. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Winona Lake IN.
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