How to Find the Right Nursing College near Valley Falls Kansas
Searching for the right nursing college near Valley Falls KS may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review the nursing degree choices that are available together with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Valley Falls KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies 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 later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 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 two year program after attaining 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 acquired 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 change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nurses are an integral part of a Valley Falls KS medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work environments, including home care facilities, physician’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses provide personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Valley Falls KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support 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 duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively 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 obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Valley Falls KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Valley Falls KS students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Valley Falls KS or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Kansas 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 already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Valley Falls KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Valley Falls KS 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Valley Falls KS medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Valley Falls KS hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Valley Falls KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Valley Falls Kansas 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.
Valley Falls, Kansas
Valley Falls was originally called Grasshopper Falls, from the falls in the Grasshopper River (now known as the Delaware River). The first settlement was made there in 1854, and the town was platted in 1855. Many of the town's streets were named after women pioneer settlers.
Valley Falls is located at 39°20′35″N 95°27′38″W / 39.34306°N 95.46056°W / 39.34306; -95.46056 (39.342936, -95.460584). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.78 square miles (2.02 km2), of which, 0.77 square miles (1.99 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Valley Falls has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Valley Falls KS
Deciding on the right nursing program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Nursing Courses. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Valley Falls KS.
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