Category Archives: South Dakota

Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Smithwick SD

How to Select a Nursing School near Smithwick South Dakota

Smithwick SD pediatric nurse holding babySearching for the best nursing school near Smithwick SD may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Smithwick SD Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Smithwick SD hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of 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 often 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 several degree options available 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Smithwick SD area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 usually a two year program after attaining 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 attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the South Dakota board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Training

Smithwick SD geriatric nurse with patientThere are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Programs

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Smithwick SD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 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 directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 requirements as well.

Online Nursing Classes

female student attending nursing school online in Smithwick SDAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. 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 school for some Smithwick SD students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Smithwick SD or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout South Dakota and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Smithwick SD for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Dakota or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the South Dakota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Smithwick 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Smithwick SD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Smithwick SD hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Smithwick SD?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Smithwick 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.

Smithwick, South Dakota

Choose the Right Nursing Program near Smithwick SD

Smithwick SD Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyEnrolling in the right nursing school is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 RN in Smithwick SD.

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