How to Choose a Nursing Program near Smithfield Utah
Locating the right nursing program near Smithfield UT may seem like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing school. There are many important additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Smithfield UT 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 support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Smithfield UT may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 multiple degrees offered in Smithfield UT to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Utah community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Utah 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 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 2 year program after acquiring 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 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 change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Utah board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, 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 attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Smithfield UT, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college in the Smithfield UT 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 required to have at least 75 hours of training, 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 each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important 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 tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction in Smithfield UT and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet in Smithfield UT, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Utah and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Smithfield UT, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Utah or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Utah school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Smithfield UT 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Smithfield UT contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Smithfield UT hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
About Smithfield Utah
Smithfield is a city in Cache County, Utah, United States. The population was 9,495 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 11,014 in 2014. It is included in the Logan, Utah-Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the second largest city in the area after Logan, the county seat. Smithfield is home to Sky View High School.
Originally known as "Summit Creek", Smithfield was founded in 1857 by the brothers Robert and John Thornley along with their cousin Seth Langdon who were sent north from Salt Lake City by Brigham Young to found a settlement on Summit Creek. After a preliminary scouting, Robert returned with his new wife Annie Brighton. The first winter was spent in a wagon box. By the next summer, with more settlers arriving, a small fort was built on the edge of the creek, one cabin of which remains. As the settlement grew, a bishop was named and the town took his name. By 1917 the town had planted trees on both sides of its Main Street and had acquired a Carnegie library and a Rotary club. Dependent for many years on dairying, a Del Monte canning factory, and the sugar beet industry, the town is now essentially a bedroom community for Logan and its Utah State University.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,261 people, 2,066 households, and 1,782 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,686.6 people per square mile (650.5/km²). There were 2,159 housing units at an average density of 501.5 per square mile (193.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.23% White, 0.12% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.82% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.04% of the population.
There were 2,066 households out of which 53.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 78.5% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 13.7% were non-families. 12.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.51 and the average family size was 3.85.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Smithfield UT
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Smithfield UT.
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