How to Pick a Nursing School near Winchester Kentucky
Locating the best nursing program near Winchester KY may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are several key additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Winchester KY medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing 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 Winchester KY may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from in Winchester KY to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Kentucky community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Kentucky colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Winchester KY, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college in the Winchester KY area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training in Winchester KY and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web in Winchester KY, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see 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 acquiring financial aid or student loans in Winchester KY, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Kentucky or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Kentucky school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Winchester KY 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 programs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Winchester KY relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Winchester KY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
About Winchester Kentucky
Winchester is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Clark County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 18,368 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Lexington-Fayette, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Winchester is located northwest of the center of Clark County, 18 miles (29 km) east of Lexington and 15 miles (24 km) west of Mt. Sterling. Kentucky Route 1958 (Bypass Road) is an outer loop around the town. Kentucky Route 627 (Boonesborough Road) leads towards Richmond, 21 miles (34 km) to the south and Paris to the north. U.S. Route 60 (Winchester-Lexington Road/Lexington Avenue) runs through downtown Winchester. Interstate 64 passes through the northern part of the city, with access from exits 94 and 96. The Mountain Parkway turns off I-64 just northeast of Winchester and leads 75 miles (121 km) east to Salyersville.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Winchester has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.4 km2), of which 7.8 square miles (20.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.67%, is water.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Winchester has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Winchester KY
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 RN in Winchester KY.
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