How to Choose a Nursing School near Rathdrum Idaho
Selecting the best nursing school near Rathdrum ID may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing college. There are many key additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Rathdrum ID medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Rathdrum ID area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Idaho community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Idaho colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally 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.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Idaho board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified 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 practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Rathdrum ID students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental 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. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Rathdrum ID area and throughout Idaho and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Rathdrum ID, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Idaho or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Idaho school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Rathdrum ID 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Rathdrum ID healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Rathdrum ID hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Rathdrum ID?
Rathdrum is a city in Kootenai County, Idaho, United States. The population was 6,826 at the 2010 census, up from 4816 in 2000. It is part of the Coeur d'Alene Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the entire county. It is named after Rathdrum in Ireland.
Rathdrum is located on the Rathdrum Prairie at 47°48′30″N 116°53′33″W / 47.80833°N 116.89250°W / 47.80833; -116.89250 (47.808457, -116.892415), at an elevation of 2,211 feet (674 m) above sea level.
In the 1800s the town was initially called Westwood in honor of one of the founders of the town, a Pony Express rider and rancher, Charles Wesley Wood, also known as "Wes." But in 1881 the postmaster in the town was informed by the federal government that the town would need to change its name since it was already taken by another town in the territory. A local businessman, Michael M. Cowley, recommended the name "Rathdrum" from County Wicklow in Ireland, his place of birth.
Choose the Right RN Program near Rathdrum ID
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 licensed registered nurse in Rathdrum ID.
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