How to Find the Right Nursing School near West Liberty Kentucky
Searching for the right nursing college near West Liberty KY may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, 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 measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into 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 Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including West Liberty KY hospitals, family 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 specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the West Liberty KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Kentucky approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately 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 attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at West Liberty KY area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for some West Liberty KY students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household 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 easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near West Liberty KY or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. 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 compares to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in West Liberty KY for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Kentucky school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some West Liberty KY 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 programs you are looking at 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the West Liberty KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with West Liberty KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near West Liberty KY?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Liberty Kentucky 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.
West Liberty, Kentucky
West Liberty is a home rule-class city in Morgan County, Kentucky, United States. It is the county seat of Morgan County. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,435. It is located on the banks of the Licking River at the junction of Kentucky Route 7 and U.S. Route 460.
By 1816, an early settlement at the town site was called Wells Mills. When Morgan County was founded in 1823, the settlement was incorporated to become the county seat. It chose the name West Liberty in the belief that Pikeville, Kentucky would be called "Liberty" when it incorporated. The town is actually 100 miles east of Liberty, Kentucky.
Three Civil War skirmishes were fought near West Liberty, and much of the town was burned during the war, including the courthouse. It was replaced after the war, and a fourth courthouse was built in 1907.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near West Liberty KY
Choosing the right nursing program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in West Liberty KY.
More Nursing School Locations in Kentucky