How to Enroll In an Accredited RN Course near Lake City Florida
Finding the right nursing school near Lake City FL may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review the nursing degree alternatives that are available together with what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Lake City FL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she 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 contact the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?
Nurses are an essential component of a Lake City FL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to a number of opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, among the most notable are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related elements, 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, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses provide direct patient care, others opt to be teachers, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Lake City FL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support 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. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many Lake City FL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Lake City FL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Florida and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Lake City FL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, 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 readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Lake City FL 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 programs you are considering 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Lake City FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Lake City FL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Classes Lake City Florida
Choosing the ideal nursing degree program is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing college. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Nursing Classes and wanting more information on the topic Fast Track Nursing Programs.. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lake City FL.
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Lake City, Florida
Lake City is the county seat of Columbia County,Florida, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city's population was 12,046. It is the principal city of the Lake City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is composed of Columbia County, and had a 2010 population of 67,531. Lake City is 60 miles west of Jacksonville.
Lake City first began as the town of Alligator in 1821 near the Seminole settlement known as Alligator Village. Alligator became the seat of Columbia County in 1832 when it was formed from Duval and Alachua counties. In 1858 Alligator was incorporated and renamed Lake City. The largest American Civil War battle in Florida took place near here in the Battle of Olustee in 1864; the Confederates won. In 1884 the Florida Agricultural College was established in Lake City as a land grant college; it was relocated to Gainesville in 1905 to form part of the University of Florida. The city's sesquicentennial was held in 2009.
Lake City is known as "The Gateway to Florida" because it is adjacent to the intersection of Interstate 75 and Interstate 10. The city is the site of Lake City Gateway Airport, formerly known as NAS Lake City. Florida Gateway College is located in Lake City.
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