How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Wessington Springs South Dakota
Locating the right nursing school near Wessington Springs SD may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are several key additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Wessington Springs SD medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Wessington Springs SD may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from in Wessington Springs SD 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by South Dakota community colleges. It readies 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 later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at South Dakota 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 desire 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the South Dakota board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Wessington Springs SD, 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college in the Wessington Springs SD area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 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 other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction in Wessington Springs SD and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet in Wessington Springs SD, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within South Dakota and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Wessington Springs SD, which are oftentimes not provided 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Dakota or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the South Dakota school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wessington Springs SD 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Wessington Springs SD contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Wessington Springs SD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
About Wessington Springs South Dakota
Wessington Springs, South Dakota
The Wessington Springs townsite was founded in 1880 and platted in 1882, early in the era of agricultural settlement in the region. The town's boom era began in 1903, when a branch line of the Milwaukee Road railroad was constructed into the town from the east.
The town was the home of Wessington Springs College, an institution of higher learning that existed from 1887 until 1968. There is a baseball field in town that hosts an amateur baseball team named the Wessington Springs Owls
On June 18, 2014 the town of Wessington Springs was hit by a tornado. At approximately 7:45 PM the tornado tore through the heart of Wessington Springs and 50+ homes were destroyed, and 77 people were left homeless. Many other buildings and properties were damaged significantly. No fatalities were reported but several injuries were sustained. The town's emergency sirens gave residents significant advance notice to the threat, allowing residents to flee to the town's fallout shelter avoiding injury and death. The town was on lockdown for several hours to prevent further injuries and blockages.
Wessington Springs is located at 44°4′55″N 98°34′13″W / 44.08194°N 98.57028°W / 44.08194; -98.57028 (44.081842, -98.570244). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.77 square miles (4.58 km2), all of it land.
Choose the Right RN Program near Wessington Springs SD
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Wessington Springs SD.
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