How to Choose a Nursing College near Lihue Hawaii
Searching for the right nursing program near Lihue HI may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Lihue HI hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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.
There are multiple degrees 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 two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Lihue HI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Hawaii board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Hawaii approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Lihue HI area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Lihue HI or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Hawaii and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Lihue HI 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews 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 speak with some Lihue 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 colleges you are looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Lihue HI medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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 prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Lihue HI hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many Lihue HI students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Lihue HI?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Lihue 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.
Lihue or Līhuʻe is an unincorporated census-designated place (CDP) and the county seat of Kauai County, Hawaii. Lihue (pronounced [liːˈhuʔe]) is the second largest town on the Hawaiian island of Kauaʻi after Kapaʻa. As of the 2010 Census, the CDP had a total population of 6,455.
In ancient times, Lihue was a minor village. Līhuʻe means "cold chill" in the Hawaiian language. Lihue is located in the ancient district of Puna, the southeastern coast of the island, and land division (ahupuaʻa) of Kalapaki.Royal Governor Kaikioʻewa officially made it his governing seat in 1837, moving it from Waimea; he gave the town its name after the land he owned on Oahu by the same name.
With the emergence of the sugar industry in the 1800s, Lihue became the central city of the island with the construction of a large sugar mill. Early investors were Henry A. Peirce, Charles Reed Bishop and William Little Lee. The plantation struggled until William Harrison Rice built the first irrigation system in 1856.
Select the Right Nursing College near Lihue HI
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select 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 registered nurse in Lihue HI.
More Awesome Locations in Hawaii
Business Results 1 - 10 of 3