How to Choose a Nursing Degree Program near Tonganoxie Kansas
Finding the right nursing program near Tonganoxie KS may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Tonganoxie KS hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Tonganoxie KS area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Kansas board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Kansas approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Tonganoxie KS area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many Tonganoxie KS students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Tonganoxie KS or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Kansas and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Tonganoxie KS 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) 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 attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Kansas or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Kansas school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Tonganoxie KS 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Tonganoxie KS healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Tonganoxie KS hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Tonganoxie KS?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tonganoxie Kansas area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Tonganoxie (pronounced /tɒŋɡəˈnɒksi/) is a city in Leavenworth County, Kansas, United States. The current population of Tonganoxie, KS is around 5,326 as of 2016; and has doubled since 2000 according to the League of Kansas Municipalities. The city is classified as a City of the Second Class.
Tonganoxie was platted in 1866. It was named for a local Native American Chief from the Delaware Tribe whose name means "shorty" in the Delaware language. Tonganoxie was incorporated as a city in the late 1870s.
Tonganoxie is located at 39°6′32″N 95°5′13″W / 39.10889°N 95.08694°W / 39.10889; -95.08694 (39.108880, -95.086885). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.67 square miles (9.51 km2), of which 3.66 square miles (9.48 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Tonganoxie KS
Deciding on the ideal nursing college is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Tonganoxie KS.
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