How to Select a Nursing School near Wilmette Illinois
Finding the best nursing school near Wilmette IL may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over 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 medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Wilmette IL medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wilmette IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Illinois colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after receiving 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 obtained 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 be sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Wilmette IL students. Regarding tuition, many 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 easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Wilmette IL area and throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 pick compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Wilmette IL, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Wilmette IL 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 schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Wilmette IL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Wilmette IL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Wilmette IL?
Wilmette is a village in New Trier Township, Cook County, Illinois, United States. It is located 14 miles (23 km) north of Chicago's downtown district (4 mi or 6 km from Chicago's northern border) and had a population at the 2010 census of 27,087. Wilmette is considered a bedroom community in the North Shore region. In 2007, Wilmette was ranked as the seventh best place to raise children in the U.S., according to Business Week. In 2015, Wilmette was ranked the best place to live in Illinois based on a variety of factors including its low unemployment rate, median income, low housing vacancy rate, high education expenditures per student, low crime, and short commute times. Wilmette is home to 2 of Illinois' 17 elementary schools (Romona Elementary, St. Joseph School) to be awarded the 2017 National Blue Ribbon award.
Wilmette is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan and is a near northern suburb of Chicago, immediately North of Evanston at 42°4′38″N 87°43′25″W / 42.07722°N 87.72361°W / 42.07722; -87.72361 (42.077178, -87.723736). The North Shore Channel drainage canal empties into Lake Michigan at Wilmette Harbor.
According to the 2010 census, Wilmette has a total area of 5.409 square miles (14.01 km2), of which 5.4 square miles (13.99 km2) (or 99.83%) is land and 0.009 square miles (0.02 km2) (or 0.17%) is water.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Wilmette IL
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wilmette IL.
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