How to Choose the Best Nursing Course near Pinellas Park Florida
Locating the right nursing college near Pinellas Park FL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college 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 crucial additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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There are several degree options to choose from 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two 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 Pinellas Park FL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?
Nurses are an important component of a Pinellas Park FL medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical advantages. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to 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 human side 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 extensive applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work settings, including nursing homes, 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. While many nurses provide direct patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Pinellas Park FL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping 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 generally 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
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for many Pinellas Park FL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Pinellas Park FL or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Florida and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Pinellas Park FL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Florida or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Pinellas Park 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Pinellas Park FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Pinellas Park FL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Degree In Nursing Pinellas Park Florida
Deciding on the ideal nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing program. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Degree In Nursing and wanting more information on the topic Best Universities For Nursing.. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Pinellas Park FL.
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Pinellas Park, Florida
Pinellas Park is a city located in central Pinellas County, Florida, United States. The population was 49,079 at the 2010 census. Originally home to northern transplants and vacationers, the hundred year old city has grown into the fourth largest city in Pinellas County, the most densely-populated county in Florida. The city and surrounding areas are almost completely urbanized. Pinellas Park contains a substantial portion of the Gateway area of the county, targeted for future infrastructure, residential, and commercial development as it sits roughly in the middle of the Tampa Bay area's over two million people. Though technically land-locked, its borders lie only a few miles from Tampa Bay to the east, and Boca Ciega Bay and the Gulf of Mexico to the west. The city is known for its popular equestrian facilities and events, and many residents also participate in fishing and water activities in nearby venues.
The city was founded by Philadelphia publisher F. A. Davis, who purchased 12,800 acres (52 km2) of Hamilton Disston's land around 1911. Promotional brochures lured northerners, especially Pennsylvanians, to the town, noting the pleasant climate in the winter and the agreeable agricultural conditions. The Florida Association, a corporation, set up model farms and offered a free lot in the city with the purchase of ten acres of nearby farm land. The primary crop promoted was sugar cane. By 1912, lots in the city were being sold separately. The City of Pinellas Park was formally incorporated on October 14, 1914.
Though not on the original Orange Line Railway, Pinellas Park did have a train depot, razed in 1970, on the line between Clearwater and St. Petersburg. The city lay on the vehicle road from St. Petersburg to Tampa. Growth was moderate until after World War II, when the city's population more than tripled.
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