How to Choose the Right Nursing Program near Cocoa Beach Florida
Selecting the best nursing college near Cocoa Beach FL may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 as little as two years, or continue on to obtain 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 Cocoa Beach FL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers 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) provides 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an important component of a Cocoa Beach FL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. 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 physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, including home care facilities, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Cocoa Beach FL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many Cocoa Beach FL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Cocoa Beach FL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Florida and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Cocoa Beach FL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Florida school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cocoa Beach FL 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Cocoa Beach FL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Cocoa Beach FL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Compare RN Degree Programs Online Cocoa Beach Florida
Deciding on the right nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Compare RN Degree Programs Online and wanting more information on the topic RN Degree Online.. However, by utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cocoa Beach FL.
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Cocoa Beach, Florida
Cocoa Beach is a city in Brevard County, Florida. The population was 11,231 at the 2010 United States Census. It is part of the Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The first non-native settlement in the area was by a family of freed slaves following the American Civil War. In 1888, a group of men from Cocoa bought the entire tract of land, which went undeveloped until it was bought out in 1923 by a member of the group—Gus Edwards, Cocoa's city attorney. At that time, Edwards' total holdings included approximately 600 acres (240 ha), and he had stopped practicing law to devote all his efforts to developing the area.
Prior to incorporation, the area was known as Oceanus. The Town of Cocoa Beach was established on June 5, 1925. Cocoa Beach's first official meeting was held at the Cocoa Beach Casino on July 27, 1925, and adopted the City Seal. Gus C. Edwards was elected  as mayor and served as a commissioner along with J.A. Haisten, and R.Z. Grabel. A little less than a month later, plans for a pier became official.
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