How to Pick a Nursing College near Dixon Illinois
Choosing the right nursing school near Dixon IL may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive 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 thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Dixon IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job 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 in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Dixon IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive 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 might desire 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 normally a two year program after receiving 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 obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Illinois approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Dixon IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Dixon IL or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Dixon IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Dixon IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Dixon IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. 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 too. Check if the schools have associations with Dixon IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Dixon IL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. 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 family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Dixon IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dixon 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.
Dixon is a city and the county seat of Lee County, Illinois, United States. The population was 15,733 as of the 2010 census, down from 15,941 in 2000. The city is named after founder John Dixon, who operated a rope ferry service across Rock River, which runs through the city. The Illinois General Assembly designated Dixon as "Petunia Capital of Illinois" in 1999 and "The Catfish Capital of Illinois" in 2009.
Dixon is the boyhood home of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan. The city is also the site of the Lincoln Monument State Memorial, marking the spot where Abraham Lincoln joined the Illinois militia at Fort Dixon in 1832 during the Black Hawk War. The memorial is located on the west side of Dixon's main north-south street, Galena Avenue, (U.S. Highway 52, also Illinois Route 26), north of the Rock River.
Around 1828, Joseph Ogee, a man of mixed French and Native American descent, established a ferry and a cabin along the banks of the Rock River. In 1829, an employee of Ogee was named postmaster at the newly constructed post office. John Dixon, the eponymous founder, bought Ogee's Ferry in the spring of 1830. Dixon brought his family to his new establishment on April 11 of that year. Shortly after, the name of the post office was changed to Dixon's Ferry.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Dixon IL
Choosing the right registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Dixon IL.
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