How to Pick a Nursing Program near Dahlgren Illinois
Finding the best nursing school near Dahlgren IL may feel like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Dahlgren IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dahlgren IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 may desire 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 provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, 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 option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Dahlgren 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. 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 certified. Along with 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.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Dahlgren IL or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Dahlgren 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments 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 find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Dahlgren 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Dahlgren IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain 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 mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Dahlgren IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require 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 option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Dahlgren IL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Dahlgren IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dahlgren 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.
Dahlgren is located in northwestern Hamilton County at 38°11′57″N 88°41′9″W / 38.19917°N 88.68583°W / 38.19917; -88.68583 (38.199117, -88.685737). The mean elevation of the village is 510 feet (155.5 m). Illinois Route 142 passes through the village, leading southeast 11 miles (18 km) to McLeansboro, the county seat, and northwest 15 miles (24 km) to Mount Vernon.
Dahlgren had its start in 1870 when the railroad was extended to that point. The village was named for John A. Dahlgren (1809–1870), a U.S. Navy officer. A post office has been in operation at Dahlgren since 1871.
As of the census of 2010, there were 525 people, 211 households, and 140 families residing in the village. The population density was 526.92 people per square mile (198.5/km²). There were 242 occupied housing units at an average density of 244.1 per square mile (94.6/km²). There are 31 unoccupied units. The racial makeup of the village was 96% White, 2.5% Black, and 1.5% Hispanic or Latino.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Dahlgren IL
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Dahlgren IL.
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