How to Find the Right Nursing School near Cobden Illinois
Selecting the right nursing school near Cobden IL may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Cobden IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cobden 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 utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 instruction can be obtained at Cobden IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Cobden IL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Cobden IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Cobden 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 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 superb reputation within the Cobden IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Cobden IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Cobden IL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited 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 Cobden IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cobden 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.
According to the 2010 census, Cobden has a total area of 1.229 square miles (3.18 km2), of which 1.22 square miles (3.16 km2) (or 99.27%) is land and 0.009 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.73%) is water.
Cobden is located near the crest of the Shawnee Hills. It is in "Cobden Col", a valley cut into rock by water near the summit of this ancient mountain range. Approximately 100,000 years ago, the Illinoian ice sheet covered almost all of Illinois. As it pushed south, the ice sheet climbed the Shawnee Mountains. The height of the ice sheet was much greater than that of the mountains. It stopped before it reached their summits. As it melted, a lake formed between the mountains and the glacier. Cobden Col was the outlet of this lake.
Cobden's claim to fame is its unique mascot, an Appleknocker, or a man with freckles wearing overalls, a flannel shirt, a straw hat, and chewing on a piece of straw. This nickname originated when the high school first began to compete in athletics. It did not yet have a mascot, so other schools made up this derogatory term to insult the new school because of their large industry in peach and apple orchards. However, when Cobden High School played for and lost the state basketball championship in 1964, this name was cemented in the town's history and became part of it's cultural identity.
Select the Right Nursing School near Cobden IL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Cobden IL.
More Awesome Locations in Illinois