How to Choose a Nursing Program near Upsala Minnesota
Selecting the right nursing program near Upsala MN may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about 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. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on 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 review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Upsala MN hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered 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 as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Upsala MN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two 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 received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Minnesota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 obtained at Upsala MN area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Minnesota or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Upsala MN students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Upsala MN or online, you can use 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 Minnesota and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Upsala MN 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Minnesota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Upsala MN 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 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 good reputation within the Upsala MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Upsala MN hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Upsala MN?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Upsala Minnesota 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.
As of the census of 2010, there were 427 people, 188 households, and 115 families residing in the city. The population density was 131.8 inhabitants per square mile (50.9/km2). There were 211 housing units at an average density of 65.1 per square mile (25.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.6% White, 0.9% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.5% Asian, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.4% from other races, and 0.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.0% of the population.
There were 188 households of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.8% were non-families. 33.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.86.
The median age in the city was 40.6 years. 24.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 5.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 22.1% were from 45 to 64; and 21.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.1% male and 52.9% female.
Select the Right Nursing College near Upsala MN
Deciding on the right nursing program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Upsala MN.
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