How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Whitewater Wisconsin
Selecting the right nursing program near Whitewater WI 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 must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Whitewater WI hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance 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 Whitewater WI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 might 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Wisconsin board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Wisconsin approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Whitewater WI area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Whitewater WI or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Wisconsin and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Whitewater WI for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Wisconsin or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Wisconsin school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Whitewater WI 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 looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Whitewater WI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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 also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Whitewater WI hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Whitewater WI students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Whitewater WI?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Whitewater Wisconsin 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.
Whitewater is a city in Walworth (mostly) and Jefferson counties in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. Located near the southern portion of the Kettle Moraine State Forest, Whitewater is the home of the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 14,390. Of this, 11,150 were in Walworth County, and 3,240 were in Jefferson County.
Whitewater was founded at the confluence of Whitewater Creek and Spring Brook, and named for the white sand in their beds. A gristmill was built on Whitewater creek, the resulting pond now called Lake Cravath. The town grew quickly when the first railroad line in Wisconsin passed through in 1853, but struggled when the two largest employers left town.
Whitewater was a New England settlement. The original founders of Whitewater consisted entirely of settlers from New England. These people were "Yankees", that is to say they were descended from the English Puritans who settled New England in the 1600s. They were part of a wave of New England farmers who headed west into what was then the wilds of the Northwest Territory during the early 1800s. Most of them arrived as a result of the completion of the Erie Canal. When they arrived in what is now Whitewater, then nothing but dense virgin forest and wild prairie, the New Englanders laid out farms, constructed roads, erected government buildings and established post routes. They brought with them many of their Yankee New England values, such as staunch support for abolitionism and a passion for education, establishing many schools as well. They were mostly members of the Congregationalist Church though some were Episcopalian. Due to the second Great Awakening some of them had converted to Methodism before moving to what is now Whitewater. Whitewater, like much of Wisconsin, would be culturally very continuous with early New England culture for most of its early history.
Select the Right Nursing College near Whitewater WI
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Whitewater WI.
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