How to Choose an Accredited Nursing School near Bellingham Washington
Finding the right nursing college near Bellingham WA may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree choices that are available together with what the jobs of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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There are several degree options 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve 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 Bellingham WA area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 desire 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Washington board of nursing for any state mandates.
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Nurses are an essential part of a Bellingham WA medical team, and for a large number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to many opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for many reasons, among the most notable are its practical and personal rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses commonly go into the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic conditions. This human side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related facets, is appealing to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from an assortment of work settings, including nursing homes, doctor’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 provide personal patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Bellingham WA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Bellingham WA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with very 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 active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Bellingham WA or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Washington and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Bellingham WA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bellingham WA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Bellingham WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Bellingham WA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Colleges With Nursing Programs Bellingham WA
Good Schools For Nursing Bellingham Washington
Selecting the right nursing school is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Good Schools For Nursing and wanting more information on the topic University Nursing Programs.. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bellingham WA.
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Bellingham (/ˈbɛlɪŋhæm/ BEL-ing-ham) is the most populous city in and county seat of Whatcom County in the U.S. state of Washington. It lies 21 miles (34 km) south of the U.S.–Canada border in between two major cities of the Pacific Northwest: Vancouver, British Columbia (located 52 miles (84 km) to the northwest) and Seattle (90 miles (140 km) to the south). The city had a population of 80,885 as of the 2010 census and is estimated to have grown to 92,314 as of 2019.
The city of Bellingham was incorporated in 1903 through the consolidation of Whatcom and Fairhaven. Rather than either city usurping the other, they chose the neutral name of the bay whose shore they shared: Bellingham Bay, which had been named by George Vancouver in 1792, for Sir William Bellingham, the Controller of Storekeeper Accounts of the Royal Navy during the Vancouver Expedition.
Today, Bellingham is the northernmost city with a population of more than 50,000 people in the contiguous United States. It is a popular tourist destination known for its easy access to outdoor recreation in the San Juan Islands and North Cascades. Bellingham is undergoing redevelopment on more than 100 acres (40 ha) of former industrial land in its Waterfront District, with a hotel, conference center, condos, retirement living, retail and commercial development planned for the site.
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