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Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Wheat Ridge CO

How to Choose a Nursing School near Wheat Ridge Colorado

Wheat Ridge CO surgical nurse assisting surgeonLocating the right nursing college near Wheat Ridge CO may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Wheat Ridge CO Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Wheat Ridge CO hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting 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 higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wheat Ridge CO area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities 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 in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees

Wheat Ridge CO LPN assisting patientThere are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Colorado approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Wheat Ridge CO area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimum amount of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.

What to Ask Nursing Schools

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Wheat Ridge COOnce you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Wheat Ridge CO or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Colorado and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Wheat Ridge CO 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wheat Ridge CO 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Wheat Ridge CO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Wheat Ridge CO hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Nursing Online Degrees

woman attending nursing school online in Wheat Ridge COEnrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Wheat Ridge CO students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household 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 busy schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Wheat Ridge CO?

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

Wheat Ridge, Colorado

Wheat Ridge is a Home Rule Municipality located in Jefferson County, Colorado, United States. Wheat Ridge is a western suburb of Denver. The Wheat Ridge Municipal Center is approximately 5 miles (8 km) west-northwest of the Colorado State Capitol in Denver. The city had a population of 30,166 as of the 2010 Census.

Although Wheat Ridge is a relatively young incorporated city, it has a history based on agriculture and the community’s location along regional travel routes. It grew from a popular rest stop for travelers during the Gold Rush of the late 1850s to an agricultural and suburban community known as the “Carnation City” in the mid 1900s. As the residential areas of unincorporated Jefferson County grew to provide housing to the Denver workforce during the 1950s, the major transportation corridors extending from Denver developed with commercial services. During that era, the formation of numerous utility and fire protection districts provided these unincorporated areas with urban services. Eventually, due to the increasing annexation pressure from nearby municipalities, Wheat Ridge incorporated in 1969.

Wheat Ridge is located at 39°45′58″N 105°04′38″W / 39.76611°N 105.07722°W / 39.76611; -105.07722 (39.7660980, -105.0772063) at an elevation of 5,459 feet (1,664 m).[2] Located at the junction of Interstate 70 and Colorado State Highway 391 in central Colorado, the city is immediately west of Denver and 66 miles (106 km) north-northwest of Colorado Springs.[4][5]

Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Wheat Ridge CO

Wheat Ridge CO nursing studentPicking the right registered nursing school is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wheat Ridge CO.

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