How to Choose the Right Nursing School near Wakonda South Dakota
Choosing the right nursing program near Wakonda SD may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Wakonda SD 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 position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job 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 instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the South Dakota board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an important part of a Wakonda SD medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors 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 meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human side of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical 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 environments, such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Wakonda SD hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be South Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 training can be acquired at Wakonda SD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some Wakonda SD students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Wakonda SD or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout South Dakota and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Wakonda SD for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the South Dakota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Wakonda SD 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Wakonda SD medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Wakonda SD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Wakonda SD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Wakonda South Dakota 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.
Wakonda, South Dakota
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 0.39 square miles (1.01 km2), all of it land. Corn and soybeans are grown on the farms surrounding the town. The climate is humid continental, with hot summers and cold winters. Annual precipitation is about 25 inches.
As of the census of 2010, there were 321 people, 128 households, and 72 families residing in the town. The population density was 823.1 inhabitants per square mile (317.8/km2). There were 163 housing units at an average density of 417.9 per square mile (161.4/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 98.4% White, 0.3% African American, and 1.2% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.2% of the population.
There were 128 households of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.8% were married couples living together, 1.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.8% were non-families. 40.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 22.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 3.03.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Wakonda SD
Enrolling in the right nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you choose 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 Fast Track Nursing Programs. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Wakonda SD.
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