How to Find the Right RN College near Largo Florida
Locating the best nursing college near Largo FL may feel like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our medical care system.
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There is more than one degree option offered to become a nurse. And in order 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Largo FL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an indispensable part of a Largo FL medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession out of a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, including home care facilities, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver primary patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Largo FL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 often 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.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Largo 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 can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Largo FL or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Florida and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Largo 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy 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 all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Largo 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Largo FL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Largo FL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Registered Nurse Education Largo Florida
Enrolling in the right nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Registered Nurse Education and wanting more information on the topic Best Schools For Nursing.. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Largo FL.
More Florida Nursing Locations
Largo is the third largest city in Pinellas County, Florida, United States, and 4th largest in the Tampa Bay Area. As of the 2014 Census estimate, the city had a population of 84,500, up from 69,371 in 2000.
Largo was first incorporated in 1905. In 1913, it became the first municipality in Pinellas County to adopt a council-manager government. It switched back and forth from "town" to "city" a few times, and became a city again in 1974. It was an exporter of agricultural products until the 1960s population growth began to transform it into a bedroom community. From 1905 to 2010, Largo grew in area from 9⁄16 square mile (1.5 km2) to about 19 square miles (48 km2), and in population from about 300 people to more than 70,000. Largo began as a rural farming community and became the third largest city in Florida's most densely populated county.
The native inhabitants of the Largo area were the Tocobaga Indians. They are also known as the Safety Harbor culture from their archeological remains near present-day Safety Harbor. The Spanish came to Florida in the 16th century. In the 18th century, the Tocobaga had been virtually destroyed after years of exposure to European diseases, Spanish settlement efforts and warfare between Spain and England. The Largo area, like the rest of Pinellas County, was largely deserted. In 1763, Spain transferred sovereignty of Florida to The United Kingdom. In 1783, Florida fell to Spanish sovereignty once again until it was transferred to the United States in 1821. By 1845, a surveyor recorded the location of Lake Tolulu, apparently south of present-day East Bay Drive and roughly where the Largo Central Park Nature Preserve is today.
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