How to Find the Right Nursing School near Tullahoma Tennessee
Finding the right nursing college near Tullahoma TN may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Tullahoma TN hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Tullahoma TN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically 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 type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Tullahoma TN area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. 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.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Tullahoma TN or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Tennessee and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Tullahoma TN for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Tennessee school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Tullahoma TN 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Tullahoma TN healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Tullahoma TN 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 in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Tullahoma TN students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Tullahoma TN?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tullahoma Tennessee 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.
Tullahoma is a city in Coffee and Franklin counties in southern Middle Tennessee. The population was 18,655 at the 2010 census. In 2014 the population was estimated to be 18,899. It is the principal city of the Tullahoma micropolitan area, which consists of Coffee, Franklin, and Moore counties and is the second largest micropolitan area in Tennessee.
An alternative explanation (see Sam Davis Elliott's Soldier of Tennessee and sources cited therein) of the name is that Peter Decherd, who donated the land for the railroad right-of-way (and was therefore given the right to name two stations along the line), named one station Decherd, after himself, and the other as Tulkahoma (later changed to Tullahoma). Tulkahoma was the name of Decherd's favorite horse, which had had named for a Choctaw chief who had been captured by Decherd's grandfather. (There was also a town of Tullahoma, Mississippi; that settlement later changed its name to Grenada.)
The earliest settlement was by farmers, mostly from Virginia and North Carolina. With the use of enslaved African Americans, they developed plantations for tobacco and hemp. Slaves also cared for their blooded livestock, both horses and cattle. Early settlers were Moore, Decherd/anglicized as Deckerd, Anderson, Ragon, Montgomery, Ferrell, Stephenson, and Gunn.
Select the Right Nursing College near Tullahoma TN
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school 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 shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Tullahoma TN.
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