How to Enroll In a Nursing School near South Shore South Dakota
Locating the best nursing college near South Shore SD may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely South Shore SD hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment 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 portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 are several degree options to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the South Shore SD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be South Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at South Shore SD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some South Shore SD students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional 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 commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near South Shore SD or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within South Dakota and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in South Shore SD for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the South Dakota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some South Shore 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 looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 good reputation within the South Shore SD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with South Shore SD hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near South Shore SD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater South Shore 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.
South Shore, South Dakota
As of the census of 2010, there were 225 people, 99 households, and 56 families residing in the town. The population density was 160.7 inhabitants per square mile (62.0/km2). There were 122 housing units at an average density of 87.1 per square mile (33.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.1% White, 0.4% African American, 1.8% Native American, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.8% of the population.
There were 99 households of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.4% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 6.1% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.4% were non-families. 39.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 3.00.
The median age in the town was 39.2 years. 28.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.2% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 14.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 51.1% male and 48.9% female.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near South Shore SD
Enrolling in the right nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in South Shore SD.
More Nursing School Locations in South Dakota