How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near West Point Nebraska
Choosing the best nursing school near West Point NE may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly 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 proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are many crucial additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the West Point NE medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in West Point NE may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available in West Point NE 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 two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Nebraska community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn 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 Nebraska colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Nebraska board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in West Point NE, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college in the West Point NE 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get training in West Point NE and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web in West Point NE, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Nebraska and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in West Point NE, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Nebraska or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Nebraska school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Point NE 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 schools you are considering 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 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 favorable reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of West Point NE contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with West Point NE hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
About West Point Nebraska
West Point, Nebraska
West Point was first founded in the spring of 1857, when Omaha businessmen formed the Nebraska Settlement Association in order to find suitable townsites in the Elkhorn Valley. Uriah, John, and Andrew Bruner (three brothers originally from Pennsylvania), and William Sexauer chose the present location on a bend along a river, which they called New Philadelphia. The name was soon changed to West Point because it was the westernmost outpost along the valley.
West Point became the county seat of Cuming County on October 12, 1858 after winning the election over the community of DeWitt. A total of 19 votes were split between the two towns with West Point obtaining 12 votes. By the spring of 1859, over 4,000 Pawnee natives flooded the Elkhorn Valley during a hunting excursion and, displeased to find white settlers in the valley, burned several homesteads and killed livestock. The so-called Pawnee War ended near Battle Creek without a fight.
The Chicago & North Western ended railroad service in 1982 after flood damage and declining freight traffic levels resulted in the track being abandoned. Plans were made to revive railroad service from the newly formed Fremont & Elkhorn Valley Railroad, who purchased the abandoned C&NW track. However, the costs were too high to revive railroad service, and the tracks were removed in 1988.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.73 square miles (7.07 km2), of which 2.72 square miles (7.04 km2) is land and 0.01 square miles (0.03 km2) is water. West Point lies on the eastern bank of the Elkhorn River.
Choose the Right RN Degree near West Point NE
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in West Point NE.
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