How to Select a Nursing College near Carlinville Illinois
Locating the right nursing college near Carlinville IL 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 understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Carlinville IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Carlinville IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 syllabus 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Carlinville IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Carlinville IL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers 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 choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Carlinville IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Carlinville 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 programs 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 superb reputation within the Carlinville IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Carlinville IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Carlinville IL students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Carlinville IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Carlinville 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.
As of the 2010 Census, the population was 5,917, and 5,665 at a 2015 estimate. It is the county seat of Macoupin County, and is an outlying part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area.
Carlinville has long been a site of Illinois history, and has played host to many presidential hopefuls via campaign stops at a time in American history when railway routes produced many visits by politicians. Perhaps the largest and most important hallmark of Carlinville's history is its courthouse, the largest built outside of New York City at the time of its erection. Built in 1870 and designed by famous state capitol building architect Elijah E. Myers, the construction of Carlinville's courthouse produced its candidacy for the location of the State Capitol. Locally, it is known as "The Million Dollar Courthouse" due to its cost overruns at the time it was built.
In the early 1900s Carlinville became the site of a great many Sears Catalog Homes. An entire neighborhood was constructed of the homes and was funded, in 1918, by Standard Oil of Indiana for its mineworkers in Carlinville, at a cost of approximately 1 million dollars. In gratitude, Sears, Roebuck named one of its house models the "Carlin." Today 149 of the original 156 homes still exist, the largest single repository of Sears Catalog Homes in the United States.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Carlinville IL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Carlinville IL.
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