How to Find the Right Nursing College near West Point Kentucky
Finding the best nursing college near West Point KY may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing college. There are several essential additional things to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different West Point KY medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the West Point KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Kentucky community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn 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 Kentucky colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Kentucky board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some West Point KY students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper 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 numerous 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 household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the West Point KY area and throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in West Point KY, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Kentucky school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some West Point KY healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are considering 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the West Point KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with West Point KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near West Point KY?
West Point, Kentucky
West Point is a home rule-class city in Hardin County, Kentucky, United States, near the edge of Fort Knox military reservation on Dixie Highway. It is located in a former meander bend of the Ohio River. The population was 797 at the 2010 census, down from 1,100 at the 2000 census.
West Point was founded by pioneer James Young, who built a cabin at the site in 1789 and, in 1797, built a brick house and inn that is still standing today. In 1803, Lewis and Clark passed nearby and recruited West Point citizen John Shields to join their Corps of Discovery.
West Point sits at the confluence of the Ohio and Salt rivers, a strategic position that led Union forces to construct a fort here during the Civil War to protect their supply routes. Fort Duffield is the state's largest and best-preserved earthen fortification from the period.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near West Point KY
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in West Point KY.
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