How to Choose a Nursing School near Thomas New Mexico
Searching for the best nursing college near Thomas NM may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Thomas NM hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid 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:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn 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 Thomas NM area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the New Mexico board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 New Mexico approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Thomas NM area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for New Mexico or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Thomas NM students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 responsibilities 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 selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Thomas NM or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout New Mexico and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Thomas NM for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Mexico 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 looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the New Mexico school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Thomas NM 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Thomas NM healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Thomas NM hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Thomas NM?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Thomas New Mexico 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.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Thomas NM
Picking the right nursing degree program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Thomas NM.
More Nursing School Locations in New Mexico