How to Select an Accredited Nursing Degree Program near Port Charlotte Florida
Searching for the best nursing program near Port Charlotte FL may seem like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our health system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Port Charlotte FL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 might want 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an important component of a Port Charlotte 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 healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic conditions. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who choose to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specialties, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses provide direct patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Port Charlotte FL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Port Charlotte FL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Port Charlotte FL or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start 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 reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Port Charlotte FL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Certain 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Florida school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Port Charlotte 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 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Port Charlotte FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- 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 mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Port Charlotte FL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
School For RN Port Charlotte Florida
Picking the right nursing school is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose 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 School For RN and wanting more information on the topic RN Accredited Programs.. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Port Charlotte FL.
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Port Charlotte, Florida
Port Charlotte is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) in Charlotte County, Florida, United States. The population was 54,392 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Punta Gorda, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Port Charlotte was named to Forbes' list of "25 Best Places to Retire in 2015", listed among the ten best places in the United States to retire for the year 2012 by U.S. News & World Report, and was ranked at #1 in CNNMoney.com's 2009 list of 25 Best Places to Retire.
The first people to call the Port Charlotte area home were the nomadic Paleo-Indians as they chased big game such as woolly mammoth southward during the last ice age around 10,000 BC. At the time, Port Charlotte was not a coastal area; the peninsula of Florida was much wider than it is today and much drier. As the ice melted, the sea level rose and Florida assumed the shape and climate it has today and the Paleo-Indians gave way to the Calusa, the "shell people." The Calusa thrived on the southwest Florida coast and numbered over 50,000 when the first Spaniards reached the peninsula in the 16th century. The arrival of the Europeans was devastating to the Calusa, as diseases such as smallpox and measles decimated the population. Eventually the Seminole would arrive from points to the north and establish themselves on the peninsula.
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