How to Select a Nursing College near Seneca South Dakota
Choosing the right nursing college near Seneca SD may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Seneca SD hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And 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 continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Seneca SD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares 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 obtain 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be South Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Seneca SD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 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 minimal period of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number 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 approach to finding the time to attend school for some Seneca SD students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Seneca SD or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout South Dakota and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first 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 see how your selection 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Seneca SD for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Certain 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 a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the South Dakota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Seneca SD 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 considering 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 Seneca SD medical 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Seneca SD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Seneca SD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Seneca South Dakota 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.
Seneca, South Dakota
As of the census of 2010, there were 38 people, 16 households, and 11 families residing in the town. The population density was 90.5 inhabitants per square mile (34.9/km2). There were 29 housing units at an average density of 69.0 per square mile (26.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.4% White and 2.6% Asian. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.2% of the population.
There were 16 households of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 68.8% were married couples living together, and 31.3% were non-families. 31.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.00.
The median age in the town was 48 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 2.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 13.1% were from 25 to 44; 39.5% were from 45 to 64; and 21.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 52.6% male and 47.4% female.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Seneca SD
Selecting the right nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Seneca SD.
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