How to Choose an Accredited Nursing School near Harrisburg Illinois
Selecting the best nursing program near Harrisburg IL may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over the nursing degree choices that are offered together with what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
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Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two 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 available to aspiring students in the Harrisburg IL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 wish 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an integral component of a Harrisburg IL medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses often choose the profession out of a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related aspects, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work environments, including nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses deliver primary patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Harrisburg IL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Harrisburg IL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Harrisburg IL or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Harrisburg IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Harrisburg IL 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 colleges you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Harrisburg IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Harrisburg IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online RN Programs Harrisburg Illinois
Selecting the right nursing program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing college. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Online RN Programs and wanting more information on the topic Weekend RN Training.. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Harrisburg IL.
More Illinois Nursing Locations
Harrisburg (/ˈhærɪsbɜːrɡ, ˈhɛərz-/) is a city in and the county seat of Saline County, Illinois, United States. It is located about 57 miles (92 kilometers) southwest of Evansville, Indiana and 111 mi (179 km) southeast of St. Louis, Missouri. The 2010 population was 9,017, and the surrounding Harrisburg Township had a population of 10,790, including the city residents. Harrisburg is included in the Illinois–Indiana–Kentucky tri-state area and is the principal city in the Harrisburg Micropolitan Statistical Area with a combined population of 24,913.
Located at the concurrency of U.S. Route 45, Illinois Route 13, Illinois Route 145, and Illinois Route 34, Harrisburg is known as the "Gateway to the Shawnee National Forest", and is also known for the Ohio River flood of 1937, the old Crenshaw House (also known as the Old Slave House), the Tuttle Bottoms Monster, prohibition-era gangster Charlie Birger, and the 2012 EF4 tornado. A Cairo and Vincennes Railroad boomtown, the city was one of the leading bituminous coal mining distribution hubs of the American Midwest between 1900 and 1937.
At its peak, Harrisburg had a population that reached 16,000 by the early 1930s. The city had one of the largest downtown districts in Southern Illinois. The city was the 20th-most populated city in Illinois outside the Chicago Metropolitan Area and the most-populous city in Southern Illinois outside the Metro East in 1930. However, the city has seen an economic decline due to the decreased demand for high-sulfur coal, the removal of the New York Central railroad, and tributary lowlands leaving much area around the city unfit for growth due to flood risks.
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