How to Choose a Nursing Program near West Baden Springs Indiana
Choosing the right nursing program near West Baden Springs IN may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely West Baden Springs IN hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help 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 duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), as an example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two 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 West Baden Springs IN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Indiana board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Indiana approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at West Baden Springs IN area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Indiana 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 certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near West Baden Springs IN or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Indiana and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in West Baden Springs IN for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Indiana or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Indiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Baden Springs IN 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the West Baden Springs IN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with West Baden Springs IN hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many West Baden Springs IN students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper 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 many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near West Baden Springs IN?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Baden Springs Indiana 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.
West Baden Springs, Indiana
West Baden Springs is a town in French Lick Township, Orange County, in the U.S. state of Indiana. The population was 574 at the 2010 census. It is famous for its vast majority of hotels and resorts.
West Baden Springs is located in the vicinity of several mineral springs. The town was founded in the 1850s, and named after the spa towns of Wiesbaden or Baden-Baden, in Germany. A post office has been in operation at West Baden Springs since 1861.
According to the 2010 census, West Baden Springs has a total area of 1.098 square miles (2.84 km2), of which 1.09 square miles (2.82 km2) (or 99.27%) is land and 0.008 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.73%) is water.
Pick the Right Nursing School near West Baden Springs IN
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in West Baden Springs IN.
More Awesome Locations in Indiana