How to Pick a Nursing School near Winona Missouri
Finding the best nursing college near Winona MO may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Winona MO hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent 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
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Winona MO area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Missouri board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Missouri approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Winona MO area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Missouri or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some Winona MO students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Winona MO or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Missouri and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Winona MO for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Missouri 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 organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Missouri school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Winona MO 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 considering 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Winona MO medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Winona MO hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Winona MO?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Winona Missouri 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.
Winona is characterized by four distinct seasons and is located in a humid continental climate, as defined by the Köppen climate classification system. Winona tends to be exceptionally humid in the late summer. The monthly daily average temperature ranges from 13 °F (−11 °C) in January to 77 °F (25 °C) in July. On average, there are 41 days with highs over 90 °F (32 °C), three with highs over 100 °F (38 °C), 68 days where the temperature does not rise above freezing, and 19 nights of sub-0 °F (−18 °C) lows.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,335 people, 529 households, and 358 families residing in the city. The population density was 350.4 inhabitants per square mile (135.3/km2). There were 595 housing units at an average density of 156.2 per square mile (60.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 96.93% White, 0.07% Black or African American, 0.82% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.15% from other races, and 1.95% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.50% of the population.
There were 529 households of which 38.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 32.3% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.02.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Winona MO
Picking the right nursing degree program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Winona MO.
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