How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Tualatin Oregon
Finding the best nursing school near Tualatin OR may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare 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 delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Tualatin OR hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the care 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Tualatin OR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides 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, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Oregon board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying 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 needs to be Oregon approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Tualatin OR area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimum period of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Oregon or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Tualatin OR students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Tualatin OR or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Oregon and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Tualatin OR 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. Some states require a specific 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Oregon or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Oregon school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Tualatin OR 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Tualatin OR medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Tualatin OR hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Tualatin OR?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tualatin Oregon 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.
Tualatin (/tuˈɔːlətɪn/) is a city located primarily in Washington County in the State of Oregon. A small portion of the city is also located in neighboring Clackamas County. It is a southwestern suburb in the Portland Metropolitan Area that is located south of Tigard. The population was 26,054 at the 2010 census.
The name of the city is taken from the Tualatin River, which flows along most of the city's northern boundary. It is probably a Native American word meaning "lazy" or "sluggish" but possibly meaning "treeless plain" for the plain near the river or "forked" for its many tributaries. According to Oregon Geographic Names, a post office with the spelling "Tualitin" was established November 5, 1869, and the spelling changed to "Tualatin" in 1915.
In the 1850s, the settlement was first called Galbreath after its founder Samuel Galbreath. In 1853, Galbreath built the first bridge over the Tualatin river, and the town became known as Bridgeport. In the 1880s, John Sweek platted a town around the new railroad depot, and named the town Tualatin. It was incorporated as the City of Tualatin in 1913.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Tualatin OR
Picking the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Tualatin OR.
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