How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Waverly Iowa
Selecting the right nursing college near Waverly IA may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine 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
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Waverly IA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact 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:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer 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 attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Waverly IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment 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 concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative 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 provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Iowa approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Waverly IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 may be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Waverly IA or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Waverly IA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Iowa or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Iowa school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Waverly IA 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 colleges you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Waverly IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Waverly IA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Waverly IA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Waverly IA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Waverly Iowa 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.
Waverly is a city in Bremer County, Iowa, United States. The population was 9,874 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Bremer County and is part of the Waterloo–Cedar Falls Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The first permanent residents of Waverly were settled there against their will. Because of their alleged assistance given to Chief Black Hawk during the Blackhawk War of 1832, the Winnebago were forced to cede their lands east of the Mississippi and to move to Neutral Ground in what is now northeastern Iowa. They were to receive $270,000 ($10,000 per year for 27 years) and were required to surrender several of their tribesmen accused of murdering whites during the war. At that time there were three tribes living in the area, the Winnebagoes numbering about 500, the Mesquakie numbering about 100 and the Pottawattomies numbering about 50. With Iowa statehood in 1846, the Winnebago were moved again. In an 1845 treaty, the Winnebago exchanged their Iowa lands for the 800,000-acre (3,200 km2) Long Prairie (Crow Wing River) reserve in Minnesota and $190,000. In 1848 a detachment of United States troops from Fort Atkinson, Iowa came to enforce the removal. All told, between 1840 and 1863 the Winnebagoes were moved five times. They were pushed first to northeastern Iowa, then to Long Prairie, Minnesota, then to Blue Earth, Minnesota, then to Crow Creek, South Dakota. In 1865, after the constant upheaval cost 700 tribal members’ lives, the current Winnebago Reservation in Nebraska was established by the treaties of 1865 and 1874. The tribe lost more than two thirds of this land in the General Allotment Act of 1887. By 1913, only 120,000 acres (490 km2) of cropland, woodland, and pasture remained. The tribe is federally recognized and organized under the 1934 Indian Reorganization Act. The Winnebago Tribe established a constitution in 1936 which was amended in 1968.
Frederick Cretzmeyer is credited with being the first settler in Waverly. Having purchased 160 acres (0.6 km2) in 1852, he built a log hut on the east side of the Cedar River (or what was once called the Red Cedar River). Soon more homes were constructed as other settlers arrived, with some of their later homes built just over the hill behind the old recycling center.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Waverly IA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Waverly IA.
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