How to Choose a Nursing Degree Program near Midwest Wyoming
Selecting the right nursing school near Midwest WY may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Midwest WY hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Midwest WY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Wyoming board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 Wyoming 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Midwest WY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Wyoming or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Midwest WY students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Midwest WY or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Wyoming and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Midwest WY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Wyoming or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Wyoming school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Midwest WY 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 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 unhappy 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 Midwest WY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Midwest WY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Midwest WY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Midwest Wyoming 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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 404 people, 148 households, and 104 families residing in the town. The population density was 939.5 inhabitants per square mile (362.7/km2). There were 200 housing units at an average density of 465.1 per square mile (179.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.5% White, 0.2% African American, 1.2% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.2% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.2% of the population.
There were 148 households of which 39.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.6% were married couples living together, 16.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 9.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 29.7% were non-families. 20.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.73 and the average family size was 3.09.
The median age in the town was 30.9 years. 29.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.8% were from 25 to 44; 29.2% were from 45 to 64; and 5.9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 50.0% male and 50.0% female.
Select the Right Nursing School near Midwest WY
Choosing the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Midwest WY.
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