How to Enroll In a Nursing Degree Program near Westview Kentucky
Locating the best nursing college near Westview KY may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Westview KY hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty 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 specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance 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 Westview KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd 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 complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Westview KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some Westview KY students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Westview KY or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Westview 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Kentucky school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Westview KY 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Westview KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Westview KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Westview KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Westview 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.
Paul B. Thompson (philosopher)
Paul B. Thompson is a philosopher currently teaching at Michigan State University, where he holds the W.K. Kellogg Chair in Agricultural Food and Community Ethics. Thompson was born in 1951 in Springfield, Missouri. He earned his B.A. at Emory University before going on to earn a Ph.D. in philosophy at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He formerly taught at Texas A&M University and Purdue University before joining MSU, where he now teaches and does research on ethical and philosophical questions dealing with agriculture and food and especially the development of agricultural techno-science.
Thompson has served on national and international committees on agricultural biotechnology such as the International Advisory Panel for the PEGASUS Project on Animal Biotechnology, the Advisory Committee on Biotechnology for the Board of Agriculture and Natural Resources (part of the National Research Council based in Washington D.C.), The Scientific Advisory Committee for the Mansholt Graduate School at Wageningen University and Research Institute, and was the Chair of the Council on Agricultural Science and Technology's Working Group on Ethics and Animal Agricultural Biotechnology from 2006—2010. Thompson also contributed to the National Research Council report entitled The Environmental Effects of Transgenic Plants. He is a past President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology and the Agriculture, Food and Human Values Society.
Select the Right Nursing College near Westview KY
Picking the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Westview KY.
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