Category Archives: South Dakota

Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Saint Lawrence SD

How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Saint Lawrence South Dakota

Saint Lawrence SD pediatric nurse holding babyChoosing the right nursing program near Saint Lawrence SD may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Saint Lawrence SD Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Saint Lawrence SD hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Saint Lawrence SD area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 job market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Programs

Saint Lawrence SD geriatric nurse with patientThere are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 attests 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.

CNA Programs

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Saint Lawrence SD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimal period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for South Dakota or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

Online Nursing Schools

female student attending nursing school online in Saint Lawrence SDEnrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Saint Lawrence SD students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Saint Lawrence SD or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within South Dakota and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely 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 prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Saint Lawrence SD for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for South Dakota or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the South Dakota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Saint Lawrence 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 schools 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Saint Lawrence SD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Saint Lawrence SD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Saint Lawrence SD?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Saint Lawrence 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.

St. Lawrence, South Dakota

As of the census[3] of 2010, there were 198 people, 74 households, and 53 families residing in the town. The population density was 582.4 inhabitants per square mile (224.9/km2). There were 90 housing units at an average density of 264.7 per square mile (102.2/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 99.0% White, 0.5% Native American, and 0.5% from two or more races.

There were 74 households of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 9.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.4% were non-families. 18.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 2.96.

The median age in the town was 42.6 years. 23.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.2% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 22.8% were from 25 to 44; 25.4% were from 45 to 64; and 20.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 52.5% male and 47.5% female.

Choose the Right Nursing School near Saint Lawrence SD

Saint Lawrence SD Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyEnrolling in the right nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Saint Lawrence SD.

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