How to Enroll In an Accredited RN College near Highland Park Illinois
Selecting the right nursing program near Highland Park IL may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss the nursing degree alternatives that are available along with what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Highland Park IL area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 might wish to progress 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 normally 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nurses are an integral component of a Highland Park IL medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, the most significant are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a medical facility or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related facets, is attractive to many who elect to enter into a nursing career. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specialties, including substance addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Highland Park IL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some Highland Park IL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Highland Park IL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Highland Park IL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many 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 satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Highland Park 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 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 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 Highland Park IL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Highland Park IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Accelerated Nursing Schools Highland Park Illinois
Deciding on the right nursing program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you select a nursing college 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 Accelerated Nursing Schools and wanting more information on the topic Evening Nursing Courses.. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Highland Park IL.
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Highland Park, Illinois
Highland Park is a suburban city in Lake County, Illinois, United States, about 25 miles (40 km) north of downtown Chicago. As of the 2018 population estimate, the population was 29,622. Highland Park is one of several municipalities located on the North Shore of the Chicago metropolitan area.
In 1867, ten men purchased Highland Park for $39,198.70. They were the original stockholders of the Highland Park Building Company. Following construction of the Chicago and Milwaukee Railroad, a depot was established at Highland Park and a plat, extending south to Central Avenue, was laid out in 1856. Highland Park was established as a city on March 11, 1869, with a population of 500, and evolved from two settlements—St. John and Port Clinton. Highland Park was named from its parklike setting at a lofty elevation relative to the lake, and was given its name from Walter S. Gurnee. The town annexed the village of Ravinia in 1899.
Highland Park has several attractions including a vibrant downtown shopping district and the Ravinia Festival. Ravinia Festival is an open-air pavilion seating 3,200, which hosts classical, pop and jazz concerts in the summers. It has been the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1936. Concert-goers can purchase seats in the covered pavilion or tickets to sit on the lawn. Many visitors arrive early and picnic on the lawn before and during concerts. The festival is located in Ravinia District, originally an artists' colony, which still retains much of its early character and architecture.
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