How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Bolingbrook Illinois
Selecting the best nursing college near Bolingbrook IL may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Bolingbrook IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bolingbrook IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Bolingbrook IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Illinois 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 course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Bolingbrook IL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Bolingbrook IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Bolingbrook IL 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Bolingbrook IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Bolingbrook IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Bolingbrook IL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Bolingbrook IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bolingbrook 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.
The village of Bolingbrook is a southwest suburb of Chicago that is partially in both Will and DuPage counties in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 US Census, the population is 73,367. It is the 17th largest incorporated place in Illinois and the state's 2nd largest village. As of 2017 the estimated population is 74,306.
According to the 2010 census Bolingbrook has a total area of 24.257 square miles (62.83 km2), of which 24.05 square miles (62.29 km2) (or 99.15%) is land and 0.207 square miles (0.54 km2) (or 0.85%) is water.
Interstate 55, locally the Stevenson Expressway, runs through the southern part of the village heading northeast toward Chicago and southwest toward Plainfield and Joliet. Interstate 355, also known as the Veterans Memorial Tollway (formerly the North-South Tollway), runs along the far east side of the village between New Lenox and Addison. Illinois Route 53, locally known as Bolingbrook Drive, runs north–south through the middle of the village.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Bolingbrook IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 Bolingbrook IL.
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