How to Pick a Nursing College near Calhoun Illinois
Locating the best nursing program near Calhoun IL may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Calhoun IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Calhoun IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 attests 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Calhoun IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Calhoun IL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Calhoun 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Calhoun 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Calhoun IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Calhoun IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred 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 certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Calhoun IL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Calhoun IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Calhoun 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.
Calhoun County, Illinois
Calhoun County is a county in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,089, making it Illinois’ third-least populous county. Its county seat and biggest community is Hardin, with a population of slightly less than 1,000. Its smallest community is Hamburg, with a population of 123. Calhoun County is at the tip of the peninsula formed by the courses of the Mississippi and Illinois rivers above their confluence and is almost completely surrounded by water. Calhoun County is sparsely populated; it has just five municipalities, all of them villages.
The territory was originally settled by indigenous people who occupied the resource-rich river valleys near waterways. The remains of their occupation have provided some of the most valuable archaeological information in the country. The county's archaeological record chronicles more than 10,000 years of continuous human occupation by Native Americans.
Calhoun County was settled by Americans during the 19th century, and officially organized in 1825. It was named for Vice President John C. Calhoun, in addition to the Calhoun family that was prominent in the area at the time. The southern side of the county, covered in thick forest, was untouched until the population began to expand in the late 1840s with the arrival of German immigrants. Land was cleared for farming, exporting lumber, and constructing spacious log barns, typically 200 square feet (19 m2) in size, which were a "trademark of successful German farmers."
Select the Right Nursing Program near Calhoun IL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 practicing RN in Calhoun IL.
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