How to Pick a Nursing Degree Program near Oldtown Idaho
Finding the best nursing college near Oldtown ID may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, 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 assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Oldtown ID hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Oldtown ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four 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 may desire 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Idaho board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Idaho approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Oldtown ID area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Idaho 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. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Oldtown ID students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Oldtown ID or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Idaho and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Oldtown ID 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Idaho school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Oldtown ID 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 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 Oldtown ID medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Oldtown ID hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Oldtown ID?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Oldtown Idaho 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.
Oldtown is a town in Bonner County, Idaho and suburb of Newport, Washington, with a population of 184 at the 2010 census. It is located on the Pend Oreille River, just east of Newport. There are no natural or physical barriers, and it is strictly a political division, separated by the straight-line state boundary. Oldtown is squeezed between this boundary to the west and the river to the east, leaving the main business district on U.S. Route 2 with only 700 feet (200 meters) of space in which to operate on the Idaho side. Many homes are located in the south end on the other side of the railroad, as the Pend Oreille is somewhat further away here.
As of the census of 2010, there were 184 people, 80 households, and 47 families residing in the city. The population density was 224.4 inhabitants per square mile (86.6/km2). There were 109 housing units at an average density of 132.9 per square mile (51.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 98.4% White, 0.5% African American, 0.5% from other races, and 0.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.7% of the population.
There were 80 households of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.5% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 41.3% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.87.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Oldtown ID
Selecting the right nursing school is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Oldtown ID.
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