How to Select a Nursing College near Sioux Falls South Dakota
Searching for the best nursing program near Sioux Falls SD may seem like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into 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 Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Sioux Falls SD hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid 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 in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Sioux Falls SD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be South Dakota approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 education can be obtained at Sioux Falls SD 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for South Dakota 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 certified. 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 prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified 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 accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some Sioux Falls SD students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue 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, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Sioux Falls SD or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout South Dakota and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 pick measures up 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 ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Sioux Falls SD 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for South Dakota or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the South Dakota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Sioux Falls SD healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Sioux Falls SD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Sioux Falls SD hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Sioux Falls SD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Sioux Falls South Dakota 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.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls (/ˌsuː ˈfɔːlz/) (Lakota: Íŋyaŋ Okábleča Otȟúŋwahe; "Stone Shatter City") is the most populous city in the U.S. state of South Dakota and the 145th-most populous city in the United States. It is the county seat of Minnehaha County and also extends into Lincoln County to the south. It is the 47th-fastest-growing city in the United States and the fastest-growing metro area in South Dakota, with a population increase of 22% between 2000 and 2010.
As of 2018, Sioux Falls had an estimated population of 183,200. The metropolitan population of 251,854 accounts for 29% of South Dakota's population. It is also the primary city of the Sioux Falls-Sioux City Designated Market Area (DMA), a larger media market region that covers parts of four states and has a population of 1,043,450. Chartered in 1856 on the banks of the Big Sioux River, the city is situated in the rolling hills at the junction of Interstate 90 and Interstate 29.
The history of Sioux Falls revolves around the cascades of the Big Sioux River. The falls were created about 14,000 years ago during the last ice age. The lure of the falls has been a powerful influence. Ho-Chunk, Ioway, Otoe, Missouri, Omaha (and Ponca at the time), Quapaw, Kansa, Osage, Arikira, Dakota, and Cheyenne people inhabited and settled the region previous to Europeans and European descendants. Numerous burial mounds still exist on the high bluffs near the river and are spread throughout the general vicinity. Indigenous people maintained an agricultural society with fortified villages, and the later arrivals rebuilt on many of the same sites that were previously settled. Lakota populate urban and reservation communities in the contemporary state and many Lakota, Dakota, and numerous other Indigenous Americans reside in Sioux Falls today.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Sioux Falls SD
Picking the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Sioux Falls SD.
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