How to Find the Right Nursing School near Danville Illinois
Selecting the right nursing school near Danville IL may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Danville IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Danville IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including 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 comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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 vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Danville IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Danville IL or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Danville 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. Many 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 attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Danville 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 programs 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 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 superb reputation within the Danville IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Danville IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending 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 center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many Danville IL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Danville IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Danville 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.
Danville was founded in 1827 on 60 acres (240,000 m2) of land donated by Guy W. Smith and 20 acres (81,000 m2) donated by Dan W. Beckwith. The sale of lots was set for April 10, 1827 and advertised in newspapers in Indianapolis, Indiana and the state capital of Vandalia. The first post office was established in May of the same year in the house of Amos Williams, organizer of Vermilion and Edgar Counties and a prominent Danville citizen. Williams and Beckwith drew up the first plat map; the city was named after Dan Beckwith at Williams' suggestion, although Beckwith suggested the names "Williamsburg" and "Williamstown". Beckwith was born in Pennsylvania in 1795 and moved to Indiana as a young man; in 1819 he accompanied the first white explorers to the area where Danville later existed because of his interest in the salt springs of the Vermilion River. He died in 1835 of pneumonia contracted on a horseback ride back from Washington; he was 40 years old. Danville became a major industrial city in the late 19th and early twentieth centuries. From the 1850s to the 1940s, Danville was an important coal mining area; some of the first open pit mining techniques were practiced here. The coal formation underlying eastern Illinois and western Indiana is named the "Danville Member," after the area where it was first discovered. With the closure of the mines and many factories, Danville's economic base suffered in the latter half of the 20th century. The former mines were converted into lakes, creating fishing and recreation opportunities at parks such as Kickapoo State Recreation Area and Kennekuk Cove County Park.
Danville is located approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Chicago, 35 miles (56 km) east of Champaign-Urbana, and 90 miles (140 km) west of Indianapolis, Indiana. Illinois Route 1, U.S. Route 136, and U.S. Route 150 intersect in Danville; Interstate 74 passes through the south end of town. Lake Vermilion is located on the northwest side of town.
According to the 2010 census, Danville has a total area of 17.967 square miles (46.53 km2), of which 17.89 square miles (46.33 km2) (or 99.57%) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.20 km2) (or 0.43%) is water.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Danville IL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 registered nurse in Danville IL.
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