How to Find the Right RN Degree Program near Gainesville Florida
Selecting the best nursing program near Gainesville FL may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly 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 necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss the nursing degree alternatives that are available together with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare 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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Gainesville FL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 may desire to advance 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.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an indispensable component of a Gainesville FL medical team, and for many 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 several reasons, among the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, including nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Gainesville FL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Gainesville FL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Gainesville FL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, 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 to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Gainesville FL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Gainesville 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Gainesville FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Gainesville FL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Fast Track Nursing Courses Online Gainesville Florida
Selecting the ideal nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Fast Track Nursing Courses Online and wanting more information on the topic Nursing Masters Degrees.. However, by using our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Gainesville FL.
More Florida Nursing Locations
Gainesville is the county seat and largest city in Alachua County, Florida, United States, and the principal city of the Gainesville, Florida, metropolitan statistical area. The US Census Bureau estimated Gainesville's population at 133,857 in 2018, a 7.4% increase from 2010. Gainesville is the largest city in the North Central Florida region. The Gainesville metropolitan statistical area had an estimated population of 288,212 in 2018.
There is archeological evidence, from about 12,000 years ago, of the presence of Paleo Indians in the Gainesville area, although it is not known if there were any permanent settlements. A Deptford culture campsite existed in Gainesville and was estimated to have been used between 500 BCE and 100 CE. The Deptford people moved south into Paynes Prairie and Orange Lake during the first century and evolved in to the Cades Pond culture. The Deptford people who remained in the Gainesville area were displaced by migrants from southern Georgia sometime in the seventh century. These migrants evolved into the Alachua culture and they built their burial mound on top of the Deptford culture campsite. When Europeans made first contact in the area, the Potano lived in the area. They were descendants of the Alachua culture people. European contact diminished the numbers of native peoples (through disease, enslavement, war) and Spanish colonists began cattle ranching in the Paynes Prairie area in the 18th century. The Spanish ceded Florida to the US in 1821.
Gainesville was established in 1854 and named after Edmund P. Gaines. The town of Gainesville was incorporated in 1869 and chartered as a city in 1907. The University of the State of Florida was moved from Lake City to Gainesville in 1906 and its name was simplified to University of Florida in 1909.
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