How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Dwight Illinois
Locating the right nursing program near Dwight IL may feel like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Dwight IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dwight IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies 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 later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 usually a two 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.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Dwight IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Dwight IL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Dwight 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 required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Dwight 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 colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Dwight IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Dwight IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some Dwight IL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Dwight IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dwight 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.
Dwight is a village located mainly in Livingston County, Illinois, with a small portion in Grundy County. The population was 4,260 at the 2010 census. Dwight contains an original stretch of the famous U.S. Route 66, and continuously used a railroad station designed in 1891 by Henry Ives Cobb from 1892 until 2016. It is about 80 miles (129 km) southwest of Chicago. I-55 bypasses the village to the north and west.
According to the 2010 census, Dwight has a total area of 3.23 square miles (8.37 km2), of which 3.22 square miles (8.34 km2) (or 99.69%) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.31%) is water.
Dwight was laid out on 30 January 1854 by Richard Price Morgan Jr. (17 September 1828- 20 May 1910), James C. Spencer (29 July 1828 – after 1990), and John Lathrop (6 March 1909 – May 1870), each of these three men took a quarter of the land. All were working as engineers for the railroad. The final quarter jointly owned by two Bloomington brothers, Jesse W. Fell (10 November 1808 – 25 February 1878) and Kersey H. Fell (1 May 1815 – 1 May 1893) The five were a distinguished group of men and all had links to the Chicago and Mississippi Railroad. Spencer was born in the Hudson River valley south of Albany; his ancestors included a United States Supreme Court Chief Justice and two governors of New York; he was later to have an important career in Wisconsin railroads. Lathrop was a civil engineer with a long history of working with canals and railroads in New York; he would soon return to Buffalo. Morgan was the son of a noted civil engineer and he later became nationally known for his work on electric railroads in New York. The Fell brothers were well-connected Bloomington land developers who had been active in helping found many central Illinois towns including Clinton, Normal, Pontiac, and Towanda. They were employed by the railroad as land agents; the Fells are perhaps best known today for their role in persuading Abraham Lincoln to write his autobiography. The plan of the founders was to purchase a block of land along the route of the railroad and to divide it into four equal parts. Morgan would then take charge of the operation. He would draw up a plat of the new town, sell the lots, and divide the proceeds among the others. The station was to be placed at the point where the four quarters met. Any unsold lots would be divided among the partners. The other men seemed to believe that Morgan was acting in the interest of the railroad. The town was named for Henry Dwight, who had funded most of the building of this part of the railroad. The Chicago and Mississippi soon became the Chicago and Alton Railroad. Attempts in 1858 to rename it Jersey, Beckman, or Dogtown failed.
Select the Right Nursing College near Dwight IL
Choosing the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Dwight IL.
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