How to Enroll In a Nursing College near West Liberty Iowa
Selecting the right nursing school near West Liberty IA may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including West Liberty IA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance 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 West Liberty IA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Iowa board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at West Liberty IA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Iowa or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as 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.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near West Liberty IA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Iowa and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. 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 selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in West Liberty IA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Iowa 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 too. Also, check with the Iowa school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Liberty IA 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 schools 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 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 West Liberty IA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with West Liberty IA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some West Liberty IA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near West Liberty IA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Liberty 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.
West Liberty, Iowa
West Liberty is located 5 miles south of Interstate 80 on Historic Highway 6. The city is home to the West Liberty Raceway, located in the Muscatine County Fairgrounds. The Muscatine County Fair takes place in West Liberty in July of each year.
West Liberty was incorporated in 1868. The town was located at the junction of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific and Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern Railroads. Prior to incorporation the town stood about half a mile north of where it is currently located but it was relocated in order to be closer to the railway. The settlement was originally known as Wapsinonoc Township, which means smooth surfaced, meandering creek or stream. The changing of the name to Liberty (after the town of Liberty, Ohio, the former home of many of the new settlers) is attributed to the wife of the township's first postmaster, Simeon A. Bagley. It is believed that the town came to be known as West Liberty after it was relocated, possibly influenced by a town west of Liberty, Ohio that was named West Liberty, Ohio.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,736 people, 1,251 households, and 890 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,147.1 inhabitants per square mile (829.0/km2). There were 1,316 housing units at an average density of 756.3 per square mile (292.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 71.2% White, 0.4% African American, 0.1% Native American, 2.1% Asian, 23.3% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 52.2% of the population. West Liberty was the first town in the state of Iowa to achieve a Hispanic-majority population.
Select the Right Nursing Program near West Liberty IA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in West Liberty IA.
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