How to Select a Nursing School near Rockland Idaho
Selecting the right nursing college near Rockland ID may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, 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 determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Rockland ID hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered 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 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Rockland ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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 make sure to check with the Idaho board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain 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, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Idaho approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Rockland ID area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Idaho 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 sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Rockland ID or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Idaho and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Rockland ID for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Idaho school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Rockland ID 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 programs 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 Rockland ID healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Rockland ID hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some Rockland ID students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Rockland ID?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Rockland 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.
Rockland claims its founding in 1879, 11 years before Idaho achieved its statehood in 1890. The Rockland Valley was traveled by trappers before its founding, but its first permanent settlers entered the valley in 1878. At that time, Hildalgo Guadelupe Valdez herded his cattle into the valley and chose the valley as his home. In efforts to establish his home he dug a ditch from the East Fork Creek as means to irrigate his 30 acres of land. Thus, he was granted his "Water Right" on Feb. 15, 1879. Not only was he the first settler in the valley, but also the first irrigated farmer in the valley.
Rockland is located at 42°34′24″N 112°52′35″W / 42.57333°N 112.87639°W / 42.57333; -112.87639 (42.573469, -112.876344). Rockland is named after Rock Creek which flows north west into the Snake River.
As of the census of 2010, there were 295 people, 97 households, and 76 families residing in the city. The population density was 983.3 inhabitants per square mile (379.7/km2). There were 114 housing units at an average density of 380.0 per square mile (146.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 99.7% White and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.7% of the population.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Rockland ID
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Rockland ID.
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