How to Select a Nursing College near Windsor Illinois
Selecting the right nursing program near Windsor IL may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training 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 final choice. Regretably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Windsor IL medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Windsor IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Illinois community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 may wish 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Windsor IL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Windsor IL area and throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary 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 decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Windsor IL, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Illinois or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Illinois school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Windsor IL 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 superb reputation within the Windsor IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Windsor IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Windsor IL?
Select the Right RN Course near Windsor IL
Picking the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select 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 practicing RN in Windsor IL.
More Fabulous Cities in Illinois
Business Results 1 - 10 of 6