How to Enroll In a Nursing Degree Program near West Paducah Kentucky
Selecting the best nursing program near West Paducah KY may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including West Paducah KY hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent 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
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the West Paducah KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at West Paducah KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many West Paducah KY students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near West Paducah KY or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in West Paducah KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Kentucky school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Paducah KY 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the West Paducah KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with West Paducah KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near West Paducah KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Paducah Kentucky 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.
Paducah (/pəˈduːkə/) is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of McCracken County, Kentucky, United States. The largest city in the Jackson Purchase region, it is located at the confluence of the Tennessee and the Ohio rivers, halfway between St. Louis, Missouri, to the northwest and Nashville, Tennessee, to the southeast. The population was 25,145 in 2016, up slightly from 25,024 during the 2010 U.S. Census. Twenty blocks of the city's downtown have been designated as a historic district and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Chickasaw and their indigenous ancestors occupied the areas along the rivers for thousands of years before Europeans appeared in the area. The Chickasaw used the area at the confluence as a trading site for an extended river network to connect with other tribes.
Paducah was first settled as Pekin c. 1821 by European Americans James and William Pore. The community – favorably located at the confluence of several waterways – occupied a site previously noted as a Chickasaw trading center.
Choose the Right Nursing School near West Paducah KY
Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in West Paducah KY.
More Nursing School Locations in Kentucky