How to Choose a Nursing Degree Program near Spanish Fork Utah
Finding the best nursing program near Spanish Fork UT may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to 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 contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional things to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Spanish Fork UT hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Spanish Fork UT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive 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 previous 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 usually a two 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.
After a graduating student has received 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 be sure to get in touch with the Utah board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 Utah approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Spanish Fork UT area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Utah or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to 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 Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some Spanish Fork UT 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Spanish Fork UT or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Utah and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Spanish Fork UT for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Utah or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Utah school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Spanish Fork UT 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 schools 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 dissatisfied 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 Spanish Fork UT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Spanish Fork UT hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Spanish Fork UT?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Spanish Fork Utah 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.
Spanish Fork, Utah
The city is in the Utah Valley with the Wasatch Range to the east and Utah Lake to the northwest. I-15 passes the northwest side of the city. Payson is about six miles to the southwest, Springville lies about four miles to the northeast, and Salem almost shares a border. 
Spanish Fork was settled by Mormon pioneers in 1851. Its name derives from a visit to the area by two Franciscan friars from Spain, Silvestre Vélez de Escalante and Francisco Atanasio Domínguez in 1776, who followed the stream down Spanish Fork canyon with the objective of opening a new trail from Santa Fe, New Mexico, to the Spanish missions in California, along a route later followed by fur trappers. They described the area inhabited by Native Americans as having "spreading meadows, where there is sufficient irrigable land for two good settlements. Over and above these finest of advantages, it has plenty of firewood and timber in the adjacent sierra which surrounds its many sheltered spots, waters, and pasturages, for raising cattle and sheep and horses."
In 1851 some settlers led by William Pace set up scattered farms in the Spanish Fork bottom lands and called the area the Upper Settlement. However, a larger group congregated at what became known as the Lower Settlement just over a mile northwest of the present center of Spanish Fork along the Spanish Fork River. In December 1851 Stephen Markham became the branch president of the LDS settlers at this location.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Spanish Fork UT
Enrolling in the right nursing college is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Spanish Fork UT.
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