How to Find the Best Nursing Degree Program near Fairfield Illinois
Choosing the right nursing college near Fairfield IL may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential 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 closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at the nursing degree choices that are offered along with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical 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 attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Fairfield IL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher 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 qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Choose the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an integral component of a Fairfield IL medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, the most meaningful are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human aspect of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who decide to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, doctor’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses provide direct patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Fairfield IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Fairfield IL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Fairfield IL or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Fairfield IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet 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. In addition, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Fairfield 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Fairfield IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified 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 Fairfield IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Accredited Nursing Colleges Fairfield Illinois
Enrolling in the right nursing school is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important 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 Accredited Nursing Colleges and wanting more information on the topic Accelerated Nursing Training Programs.. However, by using our list 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 Fairfield IL.
More Illinois Nursing Locations
Fairfield is most famous for being the hometown of the "friendly" people and the Shelton Brothers Gang, notorious bootleggers who fought it out with the Harrisburg, Illinois-based Birger Gang to control criminal activities in Southern Illinois. During the first half of the 20th century, gang leaders Carl, Earl and Bernie Shelton made Fairfield a household name. Based on testimony of Charlie Birger himself, the Shelton Brothers were convicted for a 1925 unsolved mail carrier robbery of $15,000 and were sentenced to 25 years. They were released a few years later. Birger dominated bootlegging in Southern Illinois until he himself was hanged in Benton for the murder of West City Mayor Joe Adams in 1928. After serving their time, the Shelton brothers built a new criminal empire. Based out of East St Louis, one of the most prosperous cities of its day, they controlled all vice from Peoria and southward.
They met their demise at the hands of the Chicago mob and an insider Charles "Blackie" Harris. A land dispute led to Blackie joining forces with the Mob to kill off members of the Shelton gang. His most notable victim was Carl Shelton, the leader. He was ambushed several miles southeast of Fairfield, shot from his Jeep. Bernie was killed at his Peoria roadhouse. Earl moved to Jacksonville, Florida and became a successful land speculator.
Senator William Borah, the "Lion of Idaho," was born in Fairfield. Fairfield was the hometown of Kenneth Michael Kays, recipient of the Medal of Honor for heroism during the Vietnam War, and Country music singer-songwriter Lance Miller. Carroll C. Boggs, Illinois Supreme Court justice was born in Fairfield. Drue Pearce, Alaska state legislator, was born in Fairfield.Ben C. Blades, Illinois state legislator, lived in Fairfield.H. S. Burgess, Illinois state legislator and lawyer; served as mayor of Fairfield.Clyde W. Robbins, farmer and Illinois state representative, lived in rural Fairfield.Thomas H. Creighton, Illinois state representative and lawyer, lived in Fairfield.Charles W. Creighton, Illinois state representative and lawyer, lived in Fairfield.
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