How to Choose a Nursing Program near Tampa Florida
Locating the best nursing college near Tampa FL may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regretably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing college. There are various crucial additional considerations to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Tampa FL medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Tampa FL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Florida community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Florida 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 want 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Florida board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some Tampa FL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more 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 responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Tampa FL area and throughout Florida and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Tampa FL, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Florida or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Florida school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Tampa FL 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Tampa FL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Tampa FL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Tampa FL?
Tampa (/ˈtæmpə/) is a major city in, and the county seat of, Hillsborough County, Florida, United States. It is on the west coast of Florida on Tampa Bay, near the Gulf of Mexico, and is the largest city in the Tampa Bay Area. The city had a population of 335,709 at the 2010 census, and an estimated population of 377,165 in 2016.
Archaeological evidence indicates the shores of Tampa Bay were inhabited by indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The Safety Harbor culture developed in the area around the year 1000 AD, and the descendant Tocobaga and Pohoy chiefdoms were living in or near the current city limits of Tampa when the area was first visited by Spanish explorers in the 16th century. Interactions between native peoples and the Spanish were brief and often violent, and although the newcomers did not stay for long, they introduced European diseases which brought the collapse of native societies across the Florida peninsula over the ensuing decades. Although Spain claimed all of Florida and beyond as part of New Spain, it did not found a colony on the west coast. After the disappearance of the indigenous populations, there were no permanent settlements in the Tampa Bay area until after the United States acquired Florida from Spain in 1821.
In 1824, the United States Army established a frontier outpost called Fort Brooke at the mouth of the Hillsborough River, near the site of today's Tampa Convention Center downtown. The first civilian residents were pioneer ranchers and farmers who settled near the fort for protection from the nearby Seminole population. The town grew slowly, and had become a minor shipping port for cattle and citrus by the time of the United States Civil War. Tampa Bay was blockaded by the United States Navy during the war, and Tampa fell into a long period of economic stagnation that continued long after the war ended. The situation finally improved in the 1880s, when the first railroad links, the discovery of phosphate, and the arrival of the cigar industry jump-started its development, helping Tampa to grow from an isolated village with less than 800 residents in 1880 to a bustling city of over 30,000 by the early 1900s.
Select the Right RN Program near Tampa FL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Tampa FL.
More Fabulous Cities in Florida
Business Results 1 - 10 of 581