How to Choose an Accredited RN School near Lafayette Colorado
Searching for the best nursing program near Lafayette CO may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already 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 college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.
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Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Lafayette CO area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 might desire 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 commonly 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.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an integral part of a Lafayette CO medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, including nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. While most nurses provide personal patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Lafayette CO hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role 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 along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Lafayette CO students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Lafayette CO or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, 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 so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Lafayette CO for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
- 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 also. Also, check with the Colorado school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lafayette CO 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lafayette CO medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Lafayette CO hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Local Nursing Programs Near Me Lafayette Colorado
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Local Nursing Programs Near Me and wanting more information on the topic Online Nursing Training Near Me.. However, 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 ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lafayette CO.
More Colorado Nursing Locations
The City of Lafayette (/ˌlɑːfiːˈɛt, ˌlæf-/) is a Home Rule Municipality located in Boulder County, Colorado, United States. The city population was 24,453 at the 2010 United States Census.
Lafayette is located in southeastern Boulder County at 39°59′42″N 105°6′2″W / 39.99500°N 105.10056°W / 39.99500; -105.10056 (39.995, -105.100556). It is bordered by the town of Erie to the north and east, by the city of Broomfield to the east and south, and by Louisville to the southwest. U.S. Highway 287 is the main road through the city, leading north to Longmont and south to Broomfield and Denver. State Highway 7 leads east from Lafayette to Brighton and west to Boulder. There is also an exit off Interstate 25 to the city.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Lafayette has a total area of 9.3 square miles (24 km2), of which 9.3 square miles (24 km2) is land and 0.15 square miles (0.4 km2), or 1.50%, is water.
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