How to Pick the Right Nursing School near Sidney Nebraska
Selecting the best nursing school near Sidney NE may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our medical system.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 acquire 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 available to aspiring students in the Sidney NE area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining 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 attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Nebraska board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nurses are an essential part of a Sidney NE medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related aspects, is appealing to many who decide to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses deliver primary patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Sidney NE hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Nebraska approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Sidney NE area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 obtain 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 period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Nebraska or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Sidney NE students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Sidney NE or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Nebraska and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as 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 ultimate 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Sidney NE 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Nebraska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Nebraska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Sidney NE 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Sidney NE healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Sidney NE hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Sidney NE?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Sidney Nebraska 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.
The city was named for Sidney Dillon, president of the Union Pacific Railroad. It was founded in 1867 by the Union Pacific and grew up around the military base of Fort Sidney (also known as Sidney Barracks), where soldiers were stationed to guard the transcontinental railroad from potential Indian attacks.
The town became the southern terminus of the Sidney Black Hills Stage Road which used Clarke's Bridge (near Bridgeport, Nebraska) to allow military and civilian traffic to reach Fort Robinson, Red Cloud Agency, Spotted Tail Agency, Custer, South Dakota, and Deadwood, South Dakota in the late 1870s and 1880s.
Sidney is toward the western edge of the midwestern wheat-growing region. West of the city, the land is increasingly used for cattle ranching. Sidney is located along Lodgepole Creek, which is along present-day Interstate 80.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Sidney NE
Picking the right nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Associate Degree In Nursing. However, 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Sidney NE.
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