How to Pick an Accredited RN Degree Program near Topmost Kentucky
Choosing the right nursing program near Topmost KY may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must 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 ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over the nursing degree alternatives that are offered as well as what the functions of nurses are in our medical system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a nurse. And 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 two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Topmost KY area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an indispensable part of a Topmost KY medical team, and for many 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 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 setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly choose the profession due to a passion to administer to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This humanistic side of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the analytical or research related elements, is appealing to many who elect to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a number of work environments, such as home care facilities, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide direct patient care, others choose to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Topmost KY hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care 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. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred 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 amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Topmost KY students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Topmost KY or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Topmost KY 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Kentucky school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Topmost KY 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Topmost KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Topmost KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Good Colleges For Nursing Topmost Kentucky
Selecting the right nursing program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Good Colleges For Nursing and wanting more information on the topic How To Become Nurse.. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Topmost KY.
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