How to Find the Right Nursing School near Waukegan Illinois
Choosing the best nursing college near Waukegan IL may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are various essential additional considerations to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Waukegan IL medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Waukegan IL may have more advanced 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered in Waukegan IL 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be state 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Waukegan IL, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college in the Waukegan IL area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction in Waukegan IL and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out 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 school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet in Waukegan IL, 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 Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Waukegan IL, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specified 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 exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Waukegan IL 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Waukegan IL relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Waukegan IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
About Waukegan Illinois
Waukegan /wɔːˈkiːɡən/ is the largest city in and the county seat of Lake County, Illinois, United States. It is part of the Chicago Metropolitan Area. As of the 2013 census estimate, the city had a population of 88,826. It is the ninth-largest city in Illinois by population, and it is the fifth-largest city on the western shore of Lake Michigan, after Chicago, Milwaukee, Green Bay, and Kenosha.
The site of present-day Waukegan was recorded as Rivière du Vieux Fort ("Old Fort River") and Wakaygagh on a 1778 map by Thomas Hutchins. By the 1820s, the French name had become "Small Fort River" in English, and the settlement was known as "Little Fort". The name "Waukegance" and then "Waukegan" (meaning "little fort"; cf. Potawatomi wakaigin "fort" or "fortress") was created by John H. Kinzie and Solomon Juneau, and the new name was adopted in 1849.
Waukegan had an abolitionist community dating to these early days. In 1853, residents commemorated the anniversary of emancipation of slaves in the British Empire with a meeting. Waukegan arguably has the distinction of being the only place where Abraham Lincoln failed to finish a speech; when he campaigned in the town in 1860, a fire alarm rang, and the man soon-to-be president had his words interrupted.
Waukegan's development began in many ways with the arrival of Washburn & Moen, a barbed-wire manufacturer that prompted both labor migration and land speculation beginning in 1891. Immigrants followed, mostly hailing from southeastern Europe and Scandinavia, with especially large groups from Sweden, Finland, and Lithuania. The town also became home to a considerable Armenian population. One member of this community, Monoog Curezhin, even became embroiled in an aborted plot to assassinate Sultan Abdul Hamid II, reviled for his involvement in massacres of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. Curezhin lost two fingers on his right hand while testing explosives for this purpose in Waukegan in 1904.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Waukegan IL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Waukegan IL.
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