How to Choose a Nursing Program near Fairview Heights Illinois
Choosing the best nursing college near Fairview Heights IL may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Fairview Heights 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 be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities 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
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Fairview Heights IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered 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 afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Fairview Heights IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Fairview Heights IL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Fairview Heights IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Fairview Heights 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 schools you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fairview Heights IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Fairview Heights IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Fairview Heights IL students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Fairview Heights IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Fairview Heights 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.
Fairview Heights, Illinois
Fairview Heights is a city in St. Clair County, Illinois, United States. The population was 17,078 at the 2010 census. Fairview Heights is a dominant shopping center for Southwestern Illinois and includes numerous shopping plazas and the St. Clair Square mall.
According to the 2010 census, Fairview Heights has a total area of 11.497 square miles (29.78 km2), of which 11.42 square miles (29.58 km2) (or 99.33%) is land and 0.077 square miles (0.20 km2) (or 0.67%) is water.
French Village, Illinois is an unincorporated community (Class Code U4) located immediately west of Fairview Heights at 38°36′01″N 90°03′00″W / 38.600300°N 90.050100°W / 38.600300; -90.050100 (French Village, Illinois).
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Fairview Heights IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Fairview Heights IL.
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