Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Crystal Lake IL

How to Pick a Nursing School near Crystal Lake Illinois

Crystal Lake IL surgical nurse assisting surgeonSearching for the right nursing college near Crystal Lake IL may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Crystal Lake IL Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Crystal Lake IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Crystal Lake IL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive 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 job market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Training

Crystal Lake IL LPN assisting patientThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth 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 warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Crystal Lake IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 amount of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Crystal Lake ILNow that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Crystal Lake IL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Crystal Lake IL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Crystal Lake 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 colleges 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Crystal Lake IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Crystal Lake IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Nursing Online Programs

woman attending nursing school online in Crystal Lake ILEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Crystal Lake IL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Crystal Lake IL?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Crystal Lake 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.

Crystal Lake, Illinois

Crystal Lake is a city in McHenry County in the U.S. state of Illinois. Named after a lake 1.6 miles (2.6 km) southwest of the city's downtown, Crystal Lake is 45 miles northwest of Chicago.[4] The population was 40,743 in 2010.[5] Crystal Lake is the largest city in McHenry County, part of the Chicago metropolitan area.[6]

The City of Crystal Lake traces its origin to two separate communities which were established in the 1800s. Those communities were generally known as Nunda and Crystal Lake. In 1835, Ziba S. Beardsley had come to the shores of the lake and commented that the "waters were as clear as crystal", thereby giving the lake its name. Ziba Beardsley continued south to Naperville. In February 1836, the first white settlers, Beman and Polly Crandall and six of their ten children, came from New York State traveling to Crystal Lake in a covered wagon. Their original cabin was built in the vicinity of today's intersection of Virginia Street and Van Buren Street. Four of the Crandall children were born there. Najah Beardsley's family was the second to settle in the area; his grandson, William Beardsley, was the first white child born on the Crystal Lake prairie, on May 7, 1837.[7]

The town was first known as Crystal Ville. It was changed to Crystal Lake sometime before 1840. The area known today as downtown Crystal Lake was first called Dearborn and later, Nunda, from an area in New York where many settlers originated. The village of Dearborn was founded in the 1850s after an extension of railroads through the area. The first train station was built in 1856, although it was pre-fabricated and shipped from Chicago on a flatcar. At that time, the main business district for the village of Crystal Lake was located on Virginia Street, about one mile (1.6 km) southwest of the railroad station. The railroad served to connect both the people and industries of Crystal Lake and Dearborn to Chicago and the rest of the country. Dearborn grew quickly due to this new rail connection.[citation needed]

Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Crystal Lake IL

Crystal Lake IL nursing studentChoosing the right registered nursing program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Crystal Lake IL.

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