How to Choose a Nursing School near Cambridge Idaho
Choosing the right nursing program near Cambridge ID may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Cambridge ID hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cambridge ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 employment 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 focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Idaho board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Idaho approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Cambridge ID area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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 may be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Cambridge ID or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Idaho and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Cambridge ID for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Idaho or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Idaho school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cambridge ID 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Cambridge ID healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Cambridge ID hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for many Cambridge ID students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cambridge ID?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cambridge Idaho 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.
Cambridge is a city in Washington County, Idaho, United States. The population was 328 at the 2010 census, down from 360 in 2000. It is the second largest city in the county, behind the significantly larger Weiser, the county seat.
Cambridge is located at 44°34′18″N 116°40′41″W / 44.57167°N 116.67806°W / 44.57167; -116.67806 (44.571535, −116.678013), at an elevation of 2,661 feet (811 m) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 0.49 square miles (1.27 km2), of which, 0.48 square miles (1.24 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
Cambridge has a dry-summer continental climate (Köppen Dsa), with cold, moist winters, gradual springs, hot and dry summers, and brief autumns. July is the hottest month, with a daily average of 74.1 °F (23.4 °C); highs reach 100 °F (38 °C) on 10.7 days in a typical year and 90 °F (32 °C) on 57 days. Yet because of the aridity, summer nights typically cool to below 60 °F (16 °C). January is the coldest month, with a daily average of 23.3 °F (−4.8 °C), and lows falling to 0 °F (−18 °C) or below on 9.6 nights per year. Snowfall averages 33 inches (84 cm) per season. Precipitation is usually infrequent and light, especially so during the summer months. Extremes have ranged from −35 °F (−37 °C) on December 13, 1919 to 117 °F (47 °C), recorded July 29, 1934.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Cambridge ID
Picking the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Cambridge ID.
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