How to Find the Right Nursing College near Wailuku Hawaii
Searching for the best nursing program near Wailuku HI may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Wailuku HI hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wailuku HI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Hawaii board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive 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 Hawaii approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 education can be obtained at Wailuku HI area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 amount of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Wailuku HI or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Hawaii and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Wailuku HI for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Hawaii school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Wailuku 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 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Wailuku HI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially 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 Wailuku HI hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some Wailuku HI students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Wailuku HI?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wailuku 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.
Wailuku is located just west of Kahului, at the mouth of the ʻĪao Valley. In the early 20th century Wailuku was the main tourist destination on Maui, though it has since been eclipsed with the rise of the resort towns such as Kaʻanapali, so much that there are no hotels to speak of in Wailuku.
Historic sites in the town include Kaʻahumanu Church (named after one of Hawaiʻi's great monarchs, Queen Kaʻahumanu) which dates to 1876, the Wailuku Civic Center Historic District, the site of the Chee Kung Tong Society Building, and the Bailey House, a 19th-century former seminary and home that houses a history museum and the Maui Historical Society.
There are two ancient temples near Wailuku, called heiau — the Halekiʻi Heiau and the Pihanakalani Heiau. Both date back hundreds of years and were used for religious purposes by the native Hawaiians.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Wailuku HI
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Wailuku HI.
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