How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Whitharral Texas
Searching for the best nursing college near Whitharral TX may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to look into before you make a decision 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 system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Whitharral TX hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Whitharral TX area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically 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 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 typically 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.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Texas board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Texas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Whitharral TX area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Texas 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 education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Whitharral TX or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Texas and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Whitharral TX for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Texas or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Texas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Whitharral TX 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 colleges 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 Whitharral TX medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Whitharral TX hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Whitharral TX students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Whitharral TX?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Whitharral Texas 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.
Whitharral was founded in 1924 after the sale of the Littlefield ranchlands. The town was named for John Whitfield Harral, a trustee of the Yellow House Land Company, which was tasked with selling the Littlefield ranchlands to farmers.
Tornadoes have hit the town twice. The first occurred on Easter Sunday of 1957, causing some residential damage. Late in the evening on April 17, 1970, a violent tornado caused heavy damage to parts of the city and flattened the school's gym just minutes after fans and players had left the facility.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Whitharral TX
Selecting the right registered nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Whitharral TX.
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