How to Choose a Nursing College near Chillicothe Illinois
Locating the right nursing program near Chillicothe IL may seem like a formidable project, especially 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 must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Chillicothe IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Chillicothe 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 facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Chillicothe 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Chillicothe IL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Chillicothe 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 contact some Chillicothe 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chillicothe IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Chillicothe IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Chillicothe IL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Chillicothe IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Chillicothe 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.
Chillicothe is a city on the Illinois River in Peoria County, Illinois, United States. The population was 6,097 at the 2010 census. Chillicothe is just north of the city of Peoria and is part of the Peoria Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the 2010 census, Chillicothe has a total area of 5.415 square miles (14.02 km2), of which 5.13 square miles (13.29 km2) (or 94.74%) is land and 0.285 square miles (0.74 km2) (or 5.26%) is water.
Chillicothe is located on the Illinois River and on the parallel Iowa Interstate Railroad (IAIS) branch, from Bureau to Peoria, which was formerly the Rock Island Railroad. Crossing the IAIS and the Illinois River at Chillicothe is the former Santa Fe Railroad, now owned by BNSF Railway. Almost 4 miles outside of town the BNSF Railway operates one of the most notable civil engineering points on the Chillicothe Subdivision. Edelstein Hill is one of the steepest climbs on the railway system and attracts many railfans to see locomotives pulling intermodal trains up the hill.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Chillicothe IL
Picking the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Chillicothe IL.
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