How to Enroll In the Right Nursing Degree Program near Edwards Colorado
Selecting the best nursing school near Edwards CO may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree options that are offered as well as what the roles of nurses are in our health system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 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 available to aspiring students in the Edwards CO area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps 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 subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?
Nurses are an essential component of a Edwards CO medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is appealing to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While many nurses provide primary patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Edwards CO hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some Edwards CO students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Edwards CO or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Edwards CO for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Edwards CO 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 good reputation within the Edwards CO healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 also. Find out if the schools have associations with Edwards CO hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Compare Nursing Training Near Me Edwards Colorado
Picking the ideal nursing degree program is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing program. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Compare Nursing Training Near Me and wanting more information on the topic Accredited RN Programs.. However, by utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Edwards CO.
More Colorado Nursing Locations
Edwards is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Eagle County, Colorado, United States. Edwards is the principal community of the Edwards Micropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 10,266 at the 2010 census, up from 8,257 at the 2000 census. The Edwards Post Office has the ZIP code 81632.
Edwards is located in central Eagle County at 39°38′25″N 106°35′32″W / 39.64028°N 106.59222°W / 39.64028; -106.59222 (39.640178, −106.592325). It is in the valley of the Eagle River and extends southwards up the valleys of Lake Creek and Squaw Creek, at the north end of the Sawatch Range. It is bordered to the west by the town of Avon. U.S. Route 6 runs through the center of Edwards on the south side of the Eagle River, while Interstate 70 runs through the CDP north of the river, with access from Exit 163. Via I-70, it is 14 miles (23 km) east to Vail, 110 miles (180 km) east to Denver, 17 miles (27 km) west to Eagle, and 47 miles (76 km) west to Glenwood Springs.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the Edwards CDP has a total area of 26.8 square miles (69.4 km2), of which 26.6 square miles (69.0 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 0.57%, is water.
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