How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Eldorado Illinois
Searching for the right nursing program near Eldorado IL may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to 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 considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to explore before you determine 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 largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Eldorado IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 obtain 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 summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Eldorado IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Eldorado IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Eldorado IL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Eldorado IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 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 a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Eldorado 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Eldorado IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Eldorado IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some Eldorado IL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Eldorado IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Eldorado 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.
Eldorado (/ɛldəˈreɪdoʊ/ ( listen) or /ɛldəˈreɪdə/) is a city in Saline County, Illinois, United States. The population was 4,122 at the 2010 census, with a 1925 peak of 8,000. Although the city's name is spelled as if it were Spanish, the name was originally "Elder-Reado"—a combination of the last names of the town's two founders, Judge Samuel Elder and Joseph Read. According to legend, a signpainter for the railroad painted the name "Eldorado" on the train depot; as a result, the spelling and pronunciation was forever changed.
In September, 1963, five months before The Beatles' first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show brought them stardom in the United States, George Harrison performed at the Veterans of Foreign Wars hall in Eldorado with a local band called The Four Vests. This was the first performance by a Beatle in the United States. At the time, Harrison and his brother were visiting their sister, Louise, who had recently relocated with her husband to nearby Benton.
According to the 2010 census, Eldorado has a total area of 2.431 square miles (6.30 km2), of which 2.39 square miles (6.19 km2) (or 98.31%) is land and 0.041 square miles (0.11 km2) (or 1.69%) is water.
Select the Right Nursing College near Eldorado IL
Picking the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 practicing RN in Eldorado IL.
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