How to Pick the Right Nursing School near Wathena Kansas
Choosing the right nursing college near Wathena KS may seem like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain 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 Wathena KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 might 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Kansas board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an indispensable part of a Wathena KS medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses provide personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Wathena KS hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, 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 option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth 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 guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Wathena KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Wathena KS students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Wathena KS or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Wathena KS for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Kansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Wathena KS 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Wathena KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Wathena KS hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Wathena KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Wathena 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.
Wathena is located at 39°45′44″N 94°56′53″W / 39.76222°N 94.94806°W / 39.76222; -94.94806 (39.762161, -94.948117). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.31 square miles (5.98 km2), of which 2.28 square miles (5.91 km2) is land and 0.03 square miles (0.08 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,364 people, 550 households, and 365 families residing in the city. The population density was 598.2 inhabitants per square mile (231.0/km2). There were 587 housing units at an average density of 257.5 per square mile (99.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.6% White, 1.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.3% Asian, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.
There were 550 households of which 32.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 33.6% were non-families. 29.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.92.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Wathena KS
Choosing the ideal nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you pick a nursing college 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 Becoming A Nurse. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Wathena KS.
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