How to Choose a Nursing College near Wanatah Indiana
Selecting the right nursing college near Wanatah IN may seem like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Wanatah IN hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wanatah IN 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 job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving 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 received 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Indiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Indiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively 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 acquired at Wanatah IN area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Indiana or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Wanatah IN students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Wanatah IN or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Indiana and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Wanatah IN for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Many 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 attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Indiana school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Wanatah IN 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 programs you are looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Wanatah IN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Wanatah IN hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Wanatah IN?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wanatah Indiana 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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,048 people, 436 households, and 295 families residing in the town. The population density was 738.0 inhabitants per square mile (284.9/km2). There were 459 housing units at an average density of 323.2 per square mile (124.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.9% White, 0.1% African American, 1.0% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.0% of the population.
There were 436 households of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.3% were non-families. 26.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 2.91.
The median age in the town was 40.2 years. 22.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.9% were from 25 to 44; 32.1% were from 45 to 64; and 12.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 50.0% male and 50.0% female.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Wanatah IN
Selecting the right nursing program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wanatah IN.
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