How to Pick the Right Nursing Program near Westport Washington
Finding the best nursing program near Westport WA may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Westport WA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nurses are an essential part of a Westport WA 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 go into the profession for several reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human side of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be educators, 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 environments, including Westport WA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting 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 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 common illnesses or injuries.
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Washington 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Westport WA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 receive 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 instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component 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 balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Westport WA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Westport WA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Washington and the United States. So it is important to decrease 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 along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Westport WA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Westport WA 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 colleges you are considering 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Westport WA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Westport WA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Westport WA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Westport Washington 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.
Westport is a city in Grays Harbor County, Washington, United States. The city's population was 2,099 at the 2010 census. It is located on a peninsula on the south side of the entrance to Grays Harbor from the Pacific Ocean.
The public Westport Marina is the largest marina on the outer coast of the United States's Pacific Northwest. The marina is home to a large commercial fishing fleet and several recreational charter fishing vessels. A summer-only passenger ferry, discontinued in 2008, previously connected the town to Ocean Shores, across the mouth of the harbor to the north.
Westport was officially incorporated on June 26, 1914. Names for the area in the past include Peterson's Point, Chehalis City, and Fort Chehalis. The latter name is for a U.S. Army fort established in 1860 before the town was founded, "ts-a-lis" is the Lower Chehalis word for Westport, meaning "place of sand". Early explorers pronounced the word "Chehalis" and gave this name to the river and the people living up river who later became the Chehalis people or "People of the Sands". The area was used regularly during the summer by local Native American tribes (most likely the Shoalwater Bay Tribe, comprising Willapa Chinook and Lower Chehalis people) before Thomas Barker Speake and his family arrived early in the summer of 1857. Westport is also the home to a station for the US Coast Guard. In 2015, the Ocosta School District became the first to build a publicly funded vertical tsunami shelter, located at Ocosta Elementary School.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Westport WA
Picking the right nursing college is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should think about when picking a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Schools That Offer Nursing. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Westport WA.
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