How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Franklin Park Illinois
Searching for the best nursing school near Franklin Park IL may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Franklin Park IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring 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 high level 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Franklin Park IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn 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 eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Franklin Park IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Franklin Park IL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost 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 sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Franklin Park 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. Many 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 delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Franklin Park 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Franklin Park IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Franklin Park IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many Franklin Park IL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Franklin Park IL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Franklin Park 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.
Franklin Park, Illinois
As of the census of 2010, there were 18,333 people, 6,178 households, and 4,486 families residing in the village. The population density was 3,843.4 people per square mile (1,483.9/km²). There were 6,569 housing units at an average density of 1,377.1 per square mile (529.8/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 74.7% White, 1.3% African American, 0.4% Native American, 3.1% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 18.0% some other race, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 43.1% of the population.
There were 6,178 households, out of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were headed by married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 22.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.3% were someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.96, and the average family size was 3.51.
In the village, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 28.7% from 25 to 44, 25.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35.6 years. For every 100 females, there were 100.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.1 males.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Franklin Park IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Franklin Park IL.
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