How to Choose a Nursing School near Flora Illinois
Searching for the best nursing program near Flora IL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Flora IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Flora IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 guarantees 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Flora IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Flora IL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. 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 selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Flora 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Flora 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 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 good reputation within the Flora IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Flora IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Flora IL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Flora IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Flora 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.
Flora was founded by Samuel White. White was born September 10, 1831 in Warren County, Ohio. He and his family came to Clay County in 1852. During that time, he purchased 85 acres (34 ha) of land from the State of Illinois. His first wife, Sarah Ann Wall was born in 1833. Sarah died December 13, 1859 in Flora, and is buried in the family plot in Elmwood Cemetery. In December 1860, White married Helen M. Riggs in Flora.
The original town of Flora was laid out, surveyed and platted in February 1854 by Ethelred Nixon, County Surveyor; John Brown, Trustee for Songer, Camp & Company; and Samuel White. It embraced eighty-five acres of the west half of Section 25, Township 3 north Range 6 east. Samuel White who still owned the land, deeded one-half interest in forty acres to John Brown, Trustee, with a view of securing the town and depot. An effort had already been made to establish a town one mile west called Mooresville, where over 100 lots had been sold and some buildings done. After the collapse of that village, the principal house was moved to Flora, and was then known as the "Commercial House."
Samuel White also donated land to the City of Flora for several buildings and the city park. The City Park, at that time called the Public Square, is present day Library Park where Flora Public Library is located. White donated land for the 1st schoolhouse, the Baptist Church and parsonage. Land was also donated for streets and alleys of the original town of Flora. The city's founder died November 15, 1912 in Sterling, Colorado and was returned to Flora for burial in the family plot at Elmwood.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Flora IL
Choosing the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select 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 practicing nurse in Flora IL.
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