How to Select a Nursing Degree Program near Elko Nevada
Choosing the best nursing college near Elko NV may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Elko NV hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Elko NV area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Nevada board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Nevada approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Elko NV area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Nevada 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 is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Elko NV students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Elko NV or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Nevada and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Elko NV for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, 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 standards for Nevada or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Nevada school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Elko NV 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 programs 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Elko NV medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Elko NV hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Elko NV?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Elko Nevada 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.
Coordinates: 40°50′N 115°46′W / 40.833°N 115.767°W / 40.833; -115.767 Elko (Shoshoni: Natakkoa, "Rocks Piled on One Another") is the largest city and county seat of Elko County, Nevada, United States. The population was 18,297 at the 2010 census. The city straddles the Humboldt River.
Elko is the principal city of the Elko Micropolitan Statistical Area, a micropolitan area that covers Elko and Eureka counties. It is the largest city for over 225 miles (362 km) in all directions, making it, as its city motto states, "The Heart of Northeast Nevada".
Though Elko lies along the route of the historic California Trail, it was first inhabited only in 1868, when it was at the east end of the railroad tracks built by the Central Pacific Railroad (the portion of the First Transcontinental Railroad built from California to Utah). When the railroad crews moved on, Elko remained, serving as a center for ranching, mining, rail freight and general supplies.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Elko NV
Deciding on the ideal nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in 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 healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Elko NV.
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