How to Select the Right RN School near Grand Lake Colorado
Searching for the right nursing program near Grand Lake CO may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree choices that are available together with what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
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Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Grand Lake CO area.
- Associates Degree. 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 healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 advance 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 normally a 2 year program after receiving 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nurses are an indispensable component of a Grand Lake 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 various reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, such as nursing homes, physician’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver primary patient care, others elect to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Grand Lake CO hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Grand Lake CO students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Grand Lake CO or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Grand Lake CO 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) in addition to 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Colorado 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Grand Lake 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Grand Lake CO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Grand Lake CO hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Guide to Nursing Training Programs Grand Lake Colorado
Enrolling in the right nursing college is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you choose a nursing college 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 Guide to Nursing Training Programs and wanting more information on the topic Fast Track Nursing Colleges Near Me.. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Grand Lake CO.
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Grand Lake, Colorado
Established in 1881, Grand Lake sits at an elevation of 8,369 feet (2,551 m) and derives its name from the lake on whose shores it is situated: Grand Lake, the largest natural body of water in Colorado. The town of Grand Lake was originally an outfitting and supply point for the mining settlements of Lulu City, Teller City, and Gaskill, but today is a tourist destination adjacent to the western entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, which surrounds the lake and the town on three sides. Grand Lake was the Grand County seat of government from 1882-1888. It was incorporated on June 23, 1944.
Grand Lake is located in northeastern Grand County at 40°15′2″N 105°49′28″W / 40.25056°N 105.82444°W / 40.25056; -105.82444 (40.250493, -105.824323).U.S. Route 34 (Trail Ridge Road) runs through the western side of the town, entering Rocky Mountain National Park just north of town and leading 45 miles (72 km) across the mountains to Estes Park. To the southwest, US 34 leads 15 miles (24 km) to Granby.
Due to its elevation, Grand Lake has a subalpine climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc) with a short growing season, averaging just 49 days per year. Temperatures are chilly at night even through the summer months, and only three months have an average temperature of above 10 °C (50 °F).