How to Choose a Nursing Program near Virginia Minnesota
Locating the best nursing program near Virginia MN may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Virginia MN hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Virginia MN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 wish to progress 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Minnesota 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Virginia MN area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to 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 requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Virginia MN students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Virginia MN or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Minnesota and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things 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 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Virginia MN for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Minnesota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Virginia MN 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Virginia MN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Virginia MN hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Virginia MN?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Virginia Minnesota 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.
Virginia is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States, on the Mesabi Iron Range. The population was 8,712 at the 2010 census. According to a water tower in the middle of town, the city's nickname is the "Queen City", or "Queen City of the North". Despite its relatively small size, Virginia ranks among the most dangerous cities in Minnesota when measured by violent and property crimes per capita.
Virginia was laid out in 1892, and named after Virginia, the native state of a large share of the lumbermen in the area at that time. A post office has been in operation at Virginia since 1893. Virginia was incorporated in February 1895. It was a logging community first, then it was developed as an iron mining community. The mines in the Virginia area were prosperous and setting new records consistently by the late 1890s. The main population boom began after mining camps were built for entrepreneurs and financiers including Andrew Carnegie, Leonidas Merritt, Jay Cooke, John D. Rockefeller, William J. Olcott, James J. Hill, and others. With the use of diamond drills, mules, and a massive labor force, the mines were able to move millions of tons per year and ship them out of the Twin Ports of Duluth and Superior, as well as Two Harbors.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.18 square miles (49.68 km2); 18.85 square miles (48.82 km2) is land and 0.33 square miles (0.85 km2) is water. Lakes in Virginia include Silver Lake and Bailey Lake. The area was originally named Qeechaquepagem by an Ojibwe tribe, which roughly means “lake of the north birds”.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Virginia MN
Enrolling in the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select a nursing school 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 short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Virginia MN.
More Nursing School Locations in Minnesota