Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Freeburg IL

How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Freeburg Illinois

Freeburg IL surgical nurse assisting surgeonSelecting the best nursing college near Freeburg IL may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Freeburg IL Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Freeburg IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options 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 as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Freeburg IL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth 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 might desire to advance 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 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 acquired 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.

LVN and LPN Training

Freeburg IL LPN assisting patientThere are principally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering 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 type of credential you pursue, 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Courses

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Freeburg IL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 training course is state approved. Along with 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.

Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Freeburg ILOnce you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Freeburg IL or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Freeburg 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. 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 speak with some Freeburg 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Freeburg IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Freeburg IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Online Nursing Programs

woman attending nursing school online in Freeburg ILAttending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Freeburg 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 reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 work and household commitments 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 Freeburg IL?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Freeburg 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.

Freeburg, Illinois

Freeburg lies in the fertile and rolling southern Illinois plains between the Kaskaskia and Mississippi Rivers. It was platted in 1836 as the town of Urbana by immigrants to this area from Virginia around 1800. The first European settlers of Freeburg were of English and Irish ancestry.

There were five migratory Indian tribes that crisscrossed each other in Illinois; the Peorias, Cahokias, Kaskaskias, Tamaroas, and Michiganics. It is said that Turkey Hill north of town was a popular Indian campground that also attracted many early settlers because of the view it provided of the surrounding countryside. The last Indian tribes left this area by 1820.

The big German migrations to this area started around 1830 and continued quite strong for the rest of the century. Obviously, the abundance of coal, the availability of cheap fertile farm land, as well as the proximity to the frontier city of St. Louis, only 20 miles to the northwest, are what attracted settlers to Freeburg.

Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Freeburg IL

Freeburg IL nursing studentSelecting the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Freeburg IL.

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