How to Choose a Nursing Program near Stockton Utah
Finding the right nursing college near Stockton UT may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Stockton UT hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. 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.
There is more than one degree option 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Stockton UT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Utah board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Utah approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Stockton UT area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Utah 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 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 requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Stockton UT students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Stockton UT or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Utah and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Stockton UT for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Utah or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Utah school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Stockton UT healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are considering 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Stockton UT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Stockton UT hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Stockton UT?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Stockton 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.
Stockton was born of the first mining boom in the Utah Territory. The mining industry began in the early 1860s with the arrival of Col. Patrick E. Connor, commander of the Third California Volunteers, who had been sent to the territory in 1862 to keep an eye on the overland mail routes during the Civil War. Connor wanted to counterbalance his perceived dominance of Mormon leaders in the area by exploring and developing the territory's mineral wealth. He posited that if precious metals could be discovered in Utah, the resulting flood of miners into the territory would overwhelm the Mormons, and outsiders would balance the Church's power. So he sent the men under his command out to prospect, and they almost singlehandedly opened the precious metals industry in Utah in 1863 by locating deposits, staking claims, and establishing mining districts. Mines were dug on the western slopes of the Oquirrh Mountains, and Stockton became a base camp for some these operations.
The small town was first settled in 1863. Under the growing influence of the mining industry, the population swelled to 4,000 residents. It was the first town in the Utah Territories to have its streets surveyed and named, and it later gained the distinction of being the first to get electric lights, and the first to get a telephone. A town cemetery (northwest of the settlement) was created shortly into the twentieth century. Other amenities were slowly addressed, and they now include a ball diamond, a city park, a city hall, a fire station, a municipal water system, and a centralized wastewater collection/disposal system.
A sesquicentennial commemoration was held on 27 April 2013 to mark the town's founding. Part of the ceremony was the unveiling of a welcome sign, mounted on the north end town and visible from the main highway through the town's business district, SR-36.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Stockton UT
Picking the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Stockton UT.
More Nursing School Locations in Utah