How to Find the Right Nursing College near Wilmette Illinois
Searching for the best nursing school near Wilmette IL may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Wilmette IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available 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 two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wilmette IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with 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 needs to be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Wilmette IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some Wilmette IL students. Pertaining to 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 reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Wilmette IL or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. 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 pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Wilmette IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Wilmette IL 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Wilmette IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Wilmette IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Wilmette IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wilmette Illinois 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.
Wilmette is a village in New Trier Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. Bordering Lake Michigan, it is located 14 miles (23 km) north of Chicago's downtown district (4 mi or 6 km from Chicago's northern border) and had a population at the 2010 census of 27,087. In 2007, Wilmette was ranked as the seventh best place to raise children in the U.S., according to Business Week. In 2015, Wilmette was ranked the best place to live in the state of Illinois based on a variety of factors including its low unemployment rate, median income, low housing vacancy rate, high education expenditures per student, low crime, and short commute times. Wilmette is home to 2 of Illinois' 17 elementary schools (Romona Elementary, St. Joseph School) to be awarded the 2017 National Blue Ribbon award.
Wilmette is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan and is a near northern suburb of Chicago, immediately North of Evanston at 42°4′38″N 87°43′25″W / 42.07722°N 87.72361°W / 42.07722; -87.72361 (42.077178, -87.723736). The North Shore Channel drainage canal empties into Lake Michigan at Wilmette Harbor.
According to the 2010 census, Wilmette has a total area of 5.409 square miles (14.01 km2), of which 5.4 square miles (13.99 km2) (or 99.83%) is land and 0.009 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.17%) is water.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Wilmette IL
Selecting the right nursing school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 licensed RN in Wilmette IL.
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