How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Woody Creek Colorado
Selecting the right nursing program near Woody Creek CO may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing school. There are various crucial additional aspects to check into before you determine 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 medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Woody Creek CO healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Woody Creek CO may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from in Woody Creek CO to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Colorado community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Colorado colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Colorado board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Woody Creek CO, 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college in the Woody Creek CO area or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for 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 certified. 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.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training in Woody Creek CO and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount 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 practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities 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.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web in Woody Creek CO, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Colorado and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Woody Creek CO, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Colorado or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Colorado school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Woody Creek CO healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Woody Creek CO contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Woody Creek CO hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
About Woody Creek Colorado
Woody Creek, Colorado
Woody Creek is a census-designated place and a U.S. Post Office located in Pitkin County, Colorado, United States and is part of the Roaring Fork Valley. The population as of the 2010 Census was 263. The Woody Creek Post Office has the ZIP Code 81656.
Woody Creek is situated in the valley of the Roaring Fork River northwest of Aspen, along State Highway 82, where Woody Creek exits a canyon and joins the Roaring Fork. It is situated at the northwest (and least developed) end of a small valley that stretches southeast along the Roaring Fork to Aspen. Woody Creek is located at 39°16′15″N 106°53′10″W / 39.27083°N 106.88611°W / 39.27083; -106.88611 (39.270803,-106.886158).
The community is centered on a log cabin built in the 1940s by the Lee Jones family, which now houses the Woody Creek Tavern, a well-known landmark, as well as the Woody Creek Community Center. The cabin sits along a county road, somewhat concealed from State Highway 82. Adjacent is a trailer park and several homes, ranging from modest older ones to newer upscale structures. Patrons of the Woody Creek Tavern or the Woody Creek Community Center can request a postcard which comes with postage for USA delivery, which can be scrawled upon and dropped off at the nearby post office.
Woody Creek was the residence of noted author Hunter S. Thompson for much of his life and at the time of his death. It also has been the home of several other celebrities and musicians including the late broadcaster Ed Bradley, Don Henley of the Eagles, John Oates (Hall and Oates), Jimmy Ibbotson of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and actor Don Johnson. Currently, Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi has a winter home in Woody Creek.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Woody Creek CO
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Woody Creek CO.
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