How to Choose a Nursing College near Zeeland Michigan
Selecting the right nursing program near Zeeland MI may seem like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing college. There are various crucial additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Zeeland MI medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 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 available in the Zeeland MI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Michigan community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Michigan 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 may wish 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Michigan board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Zeeland MI students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Zeeland MI area and throughout Michigan 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 already mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Zeeland MI, which are oftentimes not offered 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Michigan or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Michigan school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Zeeland MI 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 programs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Zeeland MI medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost 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 associations with Zeeland MI hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Zeeland MI?
Zeeland (/ˈziːlənd/ ZEE-lənd) is a city in Ottawa County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,504 at the 2010 census. The city is located at the western edge of Zeeland Charter Township which is politically independent. Its name is derived from the Dutch province of Zeeland.
In 1847, nearly 500 Dutch citizens sailed for America ostensibly to achieve religious freedom, although their decision to immigrate was probably also influenced by other factors, such as their failure to thrive under dire economic conditions in their home province of Zeeland, Netherlands and their opposition to modern scientific and social advances of the time.
The emigrants were led by Jannes van de Luijster, a wealthy landowner who sold his holdings in the Netherlands to advance money for the members to pay their debts and buy passage to America. Their settlement, some 16,000 acres (65 km2) of land once occupied by the Odawa people, was named after their home province of Zeeland.
Select the Right RN College near Zeeland MI
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Zeeland MI.
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