How to Pick a Nursing Program near Talihina Oklahoma
Finding the best nursing program near Talihina OK may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, 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 evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Talihina OK hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available 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 just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Talihina OK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides 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 prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Oklahoma approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Talihina OK area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Oklahoma 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 certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Talihina OK students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Talihina OK or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Oklahoma and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Talihina OK for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, 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 comply with the minimum licensing standards for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit 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 Oklahoma school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Talihina OK healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Talihina OK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Talihina OK hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Talihina OK?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Talihina Oklahoma 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.
Talihina (pronounced "tah-luh-HEE-nuh") is a town in Le Flore County, Oklahoma, United States, its name originating from two Choctaw words, tully and hena, meaning iron road. Iron road is reference to the railroad that the town was built around. It is part of the Fort Smith, Arkansas–Oklahoma Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,114 at the 2010 census, a loss of 8.0 percent from 1,211 at the 2000 census.
Talihina received its name in 1886–1887 when the St. Louis and San Francisco Railway (Frisco) built a line through the Choctaw Nation in Indian Territory. The railroad opened the surrounding area to ship cattle, timber, and cotton to Eastern markets and facilitated growth of the town. When Talihina incorporated in 1905, the town claimed a population of 400. Two major hospitals, the Choctaw-Chickasaw Tuberculosis Sanatorium and the Eastern Oklahoma State Tuberculosis Sanatorium, were built here between 1915 and 1921. By 1920, the population had grown to 690.
Tourism and recreation have been a major economic stimulus since the 1920s. Six lakes have been built in the Kiamichi Valley, attracting sportsmen and campers. Talimena State Park and Old Military Road historic site (National Register of Historic Places, NR 76002155) are 7 miles (11 km) northeast of Talihina. This is the western end of Talimena Scenic Drive, which runs to Mena, Arkansas and attracts many people to view the fall foliage.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Talihina OK
Selecting the right nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Talihina OK.
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