How to Select a Nursing Program near Dekalb Illinois
Selecting the right nursing program near Dekalb IL may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Dekalb IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide 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 to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dekalb IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Dekalb IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 training is state approved. Along with 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 Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Dekalb IL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Dekalb IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Dekalb 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 programs 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Dekalb IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Dekalb IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Dekalb IL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other 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. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Dekalb IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dekalb 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.
DeKalb /dɪˈkælb/ is a city in DeKalb County, Illinois, United States. The population was 43,862 according to the 2010 census, up from 39,018 at the 2000 census. The city is named after decorated German American war hero Johann de Kalb, who died during the American Revolutionary War.
DeKalb was originally called Huntley’s Grove, and under the latter name was platted in 1853. The name is for Baron Johann de Kalb, a major general in the American Revolutionary War. A post office has been in operation at DeKalb since 1849. The development of barbed wire is key in the history of DeKalb. Joseph Glidden, who developed barbed wire, was a historic citizen of DeKalb. Glidden would ultimately be known as the “Father of Barbed Wire”. Glidden began to mass produce his invention, and eventually sold half of the company to Isaac L. Ellwood. Together, the two formed the Barb Fence Company.
The city of DeKalb is located in northern Illinois, United States. Roughly 65 miles west of downtown Chicago and roughly 30 miles southeast of Rockford, IL. The Kishwaukee River flows northward through the city of DeKalb.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Dekalb IL
Selecting the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Dekalb IL.
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