How to Select a Nursing Program near Westbrook Minnesota
Selecting the right nursing program near Westbrook MN may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing school. There are various essential additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Westbrook MN medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two 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 offered in the Westbrook MN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Minnesota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Minnesota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Westbrook MN students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Westbrook MN area and throughout Minnesota and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Westbrook MN, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Minnesota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Westbrook MN 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Westbrook MN medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Westbrook MN hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Westbrook MN?
As of the census of 2010, there were 739 people, 345 households, and 192 families residing in the city. The population density was 947.4 inhabitants per square mile (365.8/km2). There were 418 housing units at an average density of 535.9 per square mile (206.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.7% White, 0.4% Native American, 0.9% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 0.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.2% of the population.
There were 345 households of which 18.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.7% were married couples living together, 5.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 44.3% were non-families. 40.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 23.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.04 and the average family size was 2.71.
The median age in the city was 54 years. 18.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 17.6% were from 25 to 44; 25% were from 45 to 64; and 33.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 44.2% male and 55.8% female.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Westbrook MN
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Westbrook MN.
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