How to Pick a Nursing College near Wartburg Tennessee
Selecting the best nursing program near Wartburg TN may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Wartburg TN hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wartburg TN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Wartburg TN area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many Wartburg TN students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Wartburg TN or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Tennessee and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Wartburg TN for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Some 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 an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Wartburg TN 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Wartburg TN medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially 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 associations with Wartburg TN hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Wartburg TN?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wartburg Tennessee 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.
Wartburg was founded in the mid-1840s by George Gerding, a land speculator who bought up large tracts of land in what is now Morgan County and organized the East Tennessee Colonization Company with plans to establish a series of German colonies in the Cumberland region. German and Swiss immigrants, seeking to escape poor economic conditions in their home counties, arrived at the site by traveling from New Orleans up the Mississippi and Cumberland rivers to Nashville, and then by ox cart to the Cumberland Plateau. The first of these settlers arrived in the area in 1845, and new groups of immigrants would continue trickling in until 1855.
The new settlement, which had already been platted by East Tennessee Colonization Company agent Friedrich Guenther, was named after Wartburg Castle in Germany. The first six streets were initially named for European cities, but the names were changed within a few years to Rose, Church, Maidenland (now Maiden), Kingston, Mill, and Cumberland. As most immigrants lived on farms outside the town, Wartburg grew slowly. By 1850, the town consisted of Gerding's house and store, a church and school building, a doctor's office, and a few small houses. Early residents included a number of professionals trained in Europe, including architect Carl Rothe, musician Gustav Knabe, painter George Dury, and physicians Rudolf Knaffl and F. A. Sienknecht.
While Morgan County was generally pro-Union during the Civil War, Wartburg was bitterly divided over the secession issue. Gerding, the city's founder, supported the Confederacy. John Wilken, a prominent Lutheran pastor in the city, supported the Union. F.A. Sienknecht supported the Union, though two of his sons fought for the Confederacy. On January 2, 1862, a Confederate cavalry unit under Colonel J.W. White clashed with the Union Home Guard near Wartburg. In late March 1862, Confederate General Kirby Smith reported that all Confederate citizens had been expelled from the Wartburg area. In June 1863, Union General William P. Sanders marched through Wartburg and captured 104 Confederate soldiers in the vicinity.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Wartburg TN
Selecting the ideal nursing program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Wartburg TN.
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