How to Choose the Right Nursing Program near Chicago Heights Illinois
Searching for the best nursing school near Chicago Heights IL may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the functions of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Chicago Heights IL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nurses are an important component of a Chicago Heights IL medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly go into the profession out of 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 healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from a variety of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Chicago Heights IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Chicago Heights IL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Chicago Heights IL or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Chicago Heights IL 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Chicago Heights IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Chicago Heights IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Chicago Heights IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Compare Nursing Degrees Near Me Chicago Heights Illinois
Picking the ideal nursing program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing school 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 Compare Nursing Degrees Near Me and wanting more information on the topic Accredited Nursing Degree Programs Near Me.. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Chicago Heights IL.
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Chicago Heights, Illinois
Chicago Heights is a city and a south suburb of Chicago in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 30,276 at the 2010 census. In earlier years, Chicago Heights was nicknamed "The Crossroads of the Nation". Currently, it is nicknamed "The Heights".
According to the 2010 census, Chicago Heights has a total area of 10.083 square miles (26.11 km2), of which 10.07 square miles (26.08 km2) (or 99.87%) is land and 0.013 square miles (0.03 km2) (or 0.13%) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 30,276 people, 9,587 households, and 7,077 families in the city. The population density was 3,003.6 people per square mile (1,160.0/km²). There were 11,060 housing units at an average density of 1,097.2 per square mile (423.8/km²). The racial makeup was 38.0% White, 41.5% African American, 0.6% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 16.6% some other race, and 2.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 33.9% of the population.
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