How to Choose a Nursing College near Winchester Kentucky
Finding the best nursing program near Winchester KY may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, 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 assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing school. There are a number of essential additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Winchester KY medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 offered 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 just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Winchester KY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Kentucky community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Kentucky 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 may wish to advance 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Kentucky board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some Winchester KY students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like 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, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Winchester KY area and throughout Kentucky and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Winchester KY, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. 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 enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Kentucky or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Kentucky school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Winchester KY 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Winchester KY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Winchester KY hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Winchester KY?
Winchester is a home rule-class city in and the county seat of Clark County, Kentucky, United States. The population was 18,368 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Lexington-Fayette, KY Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Winchester is located northwest of the center of Clark County, 18 miles (29 km) east of Lexington and 15 miles (24 km) west of Mt. Sterling. Kentucky Route 1958 (Bypass Road) is an outer loop around the town. Kentucky Route 627 (Boonesborough Road) leads towards Richmond, 21 miles (34 km) to the south and Paris to the north. U.S. Route 60 (Winchester-Lexington Road/Lexington Avenue) runs through downtown Winchester. Interstate 64 passes through the northern part of the city, with access from exits 94 and 96. The Mountain Parkway turns off I-64 just northeast of Winchester and leads 75 miles (121 km) east to Salyersville.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Winchester has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.4 km2), of which 7.8 square miles (20.3 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.67%, is water.
Select the Right RN School near Winchester KY
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Winchester KY.
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