How to Pick a Nursing College near Pahala Hawaii
Choosing the best nursing college near Pahala HI may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Pahala HI medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend 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 explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pahala HI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Hawaii community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Hawaii 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 might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Hawaii board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some Pahala HI students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Pahala HI area and throughout Hawaii and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. 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 pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Pahala HI, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Hawaii or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Hawaii school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Pahala HI healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges you are looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Pahala HI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Pahala HI hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Pahala HI?
Pahala is located in the southern part of the island of Hawaii at 19°12′15″N 155°28′44″W / 19.204109°N 155.479005°W / 19.204109; -155.479005.Hawaii Route 11 forms the southeast border of the community. The highway leads northeast 52 miles (84 km) to Hilo and southwest 12 miles (19 km) to Naalehu. The main entrance to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is 23 miles (37 km) to the northeast of Pahala on Route 11.
In Hawaiian, Pāhala refers to the ashes of leaves from the hala tree (Pandanus tectorius). Long ago, when cracks were found in the sugarcane fields, workers would stuff them with hala leaves and burn them.
For years, Pahala consisted of a manager's house, several plantation homes, a general store, and the sugar refinery. Many of the sugarcane workers were housed in small camps in and around Pahala and in camps situated throughout the outlying sugarcane fields. Many of these camps were self-sufficient. They consisted of eight to twelve plantation dwellings with a small store. Some camps had specialty shops such as a blacksmith or a simple barbershop. As time passed some installed gas stations.
Select the Right RN Course near Pahala HI
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Pahala HI.
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