How to Enroll In an Accredited RN College near Williston North Dakota
Finding the best nursing program near Williston ND may seem like a complex project, particularly if you don't know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first go over the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Williston ND hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist 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 as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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.
Nursing School Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain 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 Williston ND area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps 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 afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 employment market.
- Master's Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the North Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number 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 practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Williston ND students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?Nurses are an essential part of a Williston ND medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the health profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician's offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Williston ND or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout North Dakota and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools. Also, many Williston ND area healthcare employers require that new hires have graduated from an accredited school.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for North Dakota or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the North Dakota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Williston ND 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Williston ND healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Williston ND hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Best North Dakota RN School
Choosing the right nursing school is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Williston North Dakota.