How to Find the Right Nursing College near Brookfield Illinois
Choosing the best nursing program near Brookfield IL may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Brookfield IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Brookfield IL 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 such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally 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 earned 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Brookfield IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 period of instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Brookfield IL or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Brookfield IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Brookfield IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Brookfield IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Brookfield IL 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 preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Brookfield IL students. Pertaining to 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 a large number of 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 obligations 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 active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Brookfield IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Brookfield 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.
Brookfield (formerly Grossdale) is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States, located 13 miles (21 km) west of downtown Chicago. Its population was 18,978 at the 2010 census. The city is home to the Brookfield Zoo.
According to the 2010 census, Brookfield has a total area of 3.067 square miles (7.94 km2), of which 3.06 square miles (7.93 km2) (or 99.77%) is land and 0.007 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.23%) is water.
Most of Brookfield is flat land with various small hills and rises. Along Salt Creek is a steep ravine that is home to many oak savannas. These oak savannas are the primary ecosystem of Brookfield, and sprawl out from large, forested areas into small pockets in the village.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Brookfield IL
Choosing the right registered nursing program is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Brookfield IL.
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