How to Choose the Right RN Degree Program near Harwood Heights Illinois
Selecting the right nursing program near Harwood Heights IL may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our medical system.
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Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Harwood Heights IL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps 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 afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth 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 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 2 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 acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an integral component of a Harwood Heights IL medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for many reasons, among the most significant are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a medical facility or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of 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 medical profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who elect to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work settings, such as home care facilities, physician’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While most nurses deliver primary patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Harwood Heights IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help 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 as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Harwood Heights IL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Harwood Heights IL or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Harwood Heights IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 completed, 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Harwood 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 colleges you are considering 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Harwood Heights IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Harwood Heights IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online RN Courses Harwood Heights Illinois
Picking the right nursing college is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Online RN Courses and wanting more information on the topic Weekend RN Schools Near Me.. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Harwood Heights IL.
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Harwood Heights, Illinois
Harwood Heights is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 8,612 at the 2010 census.Harwood Heights and its neighbor Norridge form an enclave surrounded by the City of Chicago.
As of the census of 2000, there were 8,297 people, 3,505 households, and 2,183 families residing in the village. The population density was 10,094.4 people per square mile (3,906.7/km²). There were 3,606 housing units at an average density of 4,387.2 per square mile (1,697.9/km²). The racial makeup of the village was 92.13% White, 0.31% African American, 0.24% Native American, 4.42% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.54% from other races, and 1.33% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.83% of the population.
Based on United States Census data, Harwood Heights is listed as an Illinois community with a significant number of Polish Americans, at 32.5%. Among communities in the United States with populations of 500 or more, Harwood Heights has the second highest percentage of residents born in Poland (18.8%). It also has the seventh highest percentage of residents born in Italy among communities in the United States (4.9%).
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