How to Pick the Right Nursing Training Program near Littleton Colorado
Locating the best nursing school near Littleton CO may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are available as well as what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And 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 two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Littleton CO area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered 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 higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 may want 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nurses are an indispensable component of a Littleton CO medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the health profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, including nursing homes, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Littleton CO hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many Littleton CO students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Littleton CO or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Littleton CO for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Many states require a certain 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 an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Colorado school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Littleton CO healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Littleton CO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain 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 mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Littleton CO hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Local RN Schools Littleton Colorado
Enrolling in the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Local RN Schools and wanting more information on the topic Online RN Courses.. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Littleton CO.
More Colorado Nursing Locations
Littleton is the Home Rule Municipality in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Jefferson counties that is the county seat of Arapahoe County, Colorado, United States. The city is a part of the Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city population was 41,737 at the 2010 United States Census, ranking as the 20th most populous municipality in the State of Colorado.
The city of Littleton's history dates back to the 1859 Pike's Peak Gold Rush, which brought not only gold seekers, but merchants and farmers to the community. Richard Sullivan Little was an engineer from New Hampshire who made his way out West to work on irrigation systems. Little soon decided to settle in the area at present day Littleton and brought his wife Angeline out from the East in 1862. The Littles, along with many neighbors, built the Rough and Ready Flour Mill in 1867, which provided a solid economic base in the community. By 1890, the community had grown to 245 people and the residents voted to incorporate the Town of Littleton.
Littleton became widely known in 1999 when the Columbine High School massacre occurred at Columbine High School, where two of the school's students, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, murdered 12 students and one teacher, injured 24 others and then killed themselves. News media wrongly reported that the incident happened in the city, because the school's ZIP code is primarily associated with Littleton. The school is actually located in adjacent Columbine, an unincorporated community, which is not a place name accepted by the U.S. Postal Service; by default, locations in ZIP code 80123 use “Littleton” in their mailing addresses. Columbine High School is in the Jefferson County school system and is not one of the Littleton Public Schools.
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