How to Choose a Nursing College near Saint Marks Florida
Selecting the best nursing school near Saint Marks FL may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Saint Marks FL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Saint Marks FL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 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 generally 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.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 pursue, it should be Florida approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Saint Marks FL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Florida or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. 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 Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Saint Marks FL students. Regarding 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 economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Saint Marks FL or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Florida and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Saint Marks FL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Saint Marks FL 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Saint Marks FL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Saint Marks FL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Saint Marks FL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Saint Marks Florida area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
St. Marks, Florida
St. Marks is a city in Wakulla County, Florida, United States. It is part of the Tallahassee, Florida, Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 272 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population estimated by the U.S. Census Bureau is 299.
As of the census of 2000, there were 272 people, 137 households, and 79 families residing in the city. The population density was 141.0 people per square mile (54.4/km²). There were 168 housing units at an average density of 87.1 per square mile (33.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.75% White, 2.57% African American, 0.74% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 1.10% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.37% of the population.
There were 137 households out of which 16.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.1% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.3% were non-families. 36.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 1.99 and the average family size was 2.56.
Select the Right Nursing School near Saint Marks FL
Picking the right nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 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 Saint Marks FL.
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