How to Choose a Nursing Program near Kaneohe Hawaii
Finding the right nursing program near Kaneohe HI may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Kaneohe HI hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment 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 few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 Degree Options
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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kaneohe HI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares 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 later attain 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 able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Hawaii board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Hawaii 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Kaneohe HI area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Kaneohe HI or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Hawaii and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Kaneohe HI 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Hawaii school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Kaneohe HI 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Kaneohe HI 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. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Kaneohe HI hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Kaneohe HI students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Kaneohe HI?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Kaneohe Hawaii 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.
Kāneʻohe is a census-designated place (CDP) included in the City and County of Honolulu and located in Hawaiʻi state District of Koʻolaupoko on the island of Oʻahu. In the Hawaiian language, kāne ʻohe means "bamboo man". According to an ancient Hawaiian story a local woman compared her husband's cruelty to the sharp edge of cutting bamboo; thus the place was named Kāneʻohe or "Bamboo man". The population was 34,597 at the 2010 census. Kāneʻohe is the largest of several communities along Kāneʻohe Bay and one of the two largest residential communities on the windward side of Oʻahu (the other is Kailua). The commercial center of the town is spread mostly along Kamehameha Highway.
From ancient times, Kāneʻohe was important as an agricultural area, owing to an abundance of rainfall. Today, Kāneʻohe is mostly a residential community, with very little agriculture in evidence. The only commercial crop of any consequence in the area is banana.
Features of note are Hoʻomaluhia Botanical Garden and the new Hawaiʻi National Veterans Cemetery. Access to Kāneʻohe Bay is mainly from the public pier and boat ramp located at nearby Heʻeia Kea. Access to Coconut Island (restricted) is from the state pier off Lilipuna Road. Marine Corps Base Hawaii lies across the south end of Kāneʻohe Bay from the central part of Kāneʻohe, although the town stretches along Kāneʻohe Bay Drive to the base perimeter.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Kaneohe HI
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Kaneohe HI.
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