How to Select the Right RN School near Woodland Park Colorado
Choosing the right nursing program near Woodland Park CO may feel like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to search 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 to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
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Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Woodland Park CO area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 job market.
- Master’s Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an essential part of a Woodland Park CO medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the health profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses provide direct patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Woodland Park CO hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Woodland Park CO students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Woodland Park CO or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Woodland Park CO for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 specific 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Colorado or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Colorado school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Woodland Park 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 schools you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Woodland Park CO healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Woodland Park CO hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Training Programs Woodland Park Colorado
Deciding on the ideal nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Online Nursing Training Programs and wanting more information on the topic Weekend Nursing Colleges Near Me.. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Woodland Park CO.
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Woodland Park, Colorado
The City of Woodland Park is a Home Rule Municipality that is the most populous city in Teller County, Colorado, United States and is immediately west of El Paso County and the unincorporated community of Crystola. Many residents in this bedroom community, which is surrounded by the one-million acre (4,000 km²) Pike National Forest, make the 17-mile (27 km) commute to Colorado Springs. Ute Pass lies 12 miles (19 km) to the west of Woodland Park on US 24. The population was 7200 at the 2010 census. Nearby Douglas County is about a fifteen-minute drive from the city.
On January 28, 1891, Woodland Park was officially incorporated with a population of 121 residents. The early settlers needed a government loan to fund a water line installation from Loy Gulch into the town reservoir, now a pond in Memorial Park. The founding fathers' first ordinance was to establish a morals and decency act; banning the sale of alcohol, and prohibiting gambling, obscene language and inappropriate attire. With the new law in place to allow enforcement, the calaboose (i.e., Town Jail) was constructed in 1891 and is now located in History Park.
Homesteaders, miners, loggers, health seekers and speculators were attracted to Woodland Park due to four (4) historical factors: Gold Rush 1857 - 1919; Colorado Midland Railway 1883 - 1949; lumber and timber mills 1873 - 1936; and resorts and tourism 1887 - 1955. After the Colorado Midland Railway began operating in 1887, an infusion of travelers and new residents caused the town to grow with hotels, restaurants, livery stables, mercantile stores and homes. This growth created the need for churches, schools and recreational activities, such as, rodeo events, dances and baseball games.
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