How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near White Lake South Dakota
Choosing the best nursing school near White Lake SD may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you aren’t sure 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 acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely White Lake SD hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the White Lake SD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice 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 finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be South Dakota 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 White Lake SD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 required 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 training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for South Dakota 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 sure that the education 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 may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near White Lake SD or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within South Dakota and the United States. So it is important 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 along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in White Lake SD for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specified 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the South Dakota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some White Lake SD 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the White Lake SD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with White Lake SD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many White Lake SD students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near White Lake SD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater White Lake South Dakota 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.
White Lake, South Dakota
As of the census of 2010, there were 372 people, 161 households, and 88 families residing in the city. The population density was 865.1 inhabitants per square mile (334.0/km2). There were 192 housing units at an average density of 446.5 per square mile (172.4/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 94.9% White, 1.1% African American, 0.3% Native American, 2.7% Asian, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population. Since then there has been Hispanic families that had moved to White Lake, such as the Avila and Orozco/Gusan family.
There were 161 households of which 22.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 5.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 45.3% were non-families. 41.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.09 and the average family size was 2.83.
The median age in the city was 50.5 years. 21.5% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.6% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 15% were from 25 to 44; 28% were from 45 to 64; and 29.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.0% male and 53.0% female.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near White Lake SD
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in White Lake SD.
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