How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Albion Illinois
Searching for the right nursing school near Albion IL may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Albion IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Albion IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available 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 obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Albion IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Albion IL or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably 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 ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Albion IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check 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. Also, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Albion IL 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 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Albion IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Albion IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Albion IL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations 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 busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Albion IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Albion Illinois 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.
Albion is a city in and the county seat of Edwards County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,988 at the 2010 census. The city was named "Albion" after an ancient and poetic reference to the island of Great Britain.
Albion is located south of the center of Edwards County at 38°22′38″N 88°3′40″W / 38.37722°N 88.06111°W / 38.37722; -88.06111 (38.377300, -88.061028). In it, Illinois Route 130 and Illinois Route 15 meet. Route 130 leads north 25 miles (40 km) to Olney and south 10 miles (16 km) to Grayville, while Route 15 leads east 16 miles (26 km) to Mount Carmel and west 16 miles (26 km) to Fairfield.
According to the 2010 census, Albion has a total area of 2.196 square miles (5.69 km2), of which 2.15 square miles (5.57 km2) (or 97.91%) is land and 0.046 square miles (0.12 km2) (or 2.09%) is water.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Albion IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Albion IL.
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