How to Pick a Nursing School near Uniontown Washington
Searching for the right nursing college near Uniontown WA may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Uniontown WA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Uniontown WA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 progress 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Washington approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Uniontown WA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Washington or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Uniontown WA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Uniontown WA or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Washington and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary 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 ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Uniontown WA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Uniontown WA 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Uniontown WA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Uniontown WA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Uniontown WA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Uniontown Washington 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.
This region experiences warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Uniontown has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 294 people, 130 households, and 85 families residing in the town. The population density was 316.1 inhabitants per square mile (122.0/km2). There were 149 housing units at an average density of 160.2 per square mile (61.9/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 95.6% White, 0.3% Native American, 1.0% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.4% of the population.
There were 130 households of which 21.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 4.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 34.6% were non-families. 30.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.84.
Select the Right Nursing College near Uniontown WA
Enrolling in the right nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Uniontown WA.
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