How to Choose a Nursing Program near Wheaton Minnesota
Choosing the right nursing school near Wheaton MN may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are a number of key additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Wheaton MN medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, 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
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Wheaton MN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Minnesota community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Minnesota 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 might 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Minnesota board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some Wheaton MN students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Wheaton MN area and throughout Minnesota and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Wheaton MN, which are frequently not available 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Minnesota or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Minnesota school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Wheaton MN 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Wheaton MN medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Wheaton MN hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Wheaton MN?
A post office called Wheaton has been in operation since 1884. Wheaton was designated county seat in 1886. The city was named for Daniel Thompson Wheaton, a railroad surveyor. One property in the city is listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the Wheaton Depot built circa 1906.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,424 people, 655 households, and 370 families residing in the city. The population density was 791.1 inhabitants per square mile (305.4/km2). There were 834 housing units at an average density of 463.3 per square mile (178.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 97.4% White, 0.6% African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.2% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.5% of the population.
There were 655 households of which 21.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 43.5% were non-families. 39.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 24% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.08 and the average family size was 2.79.
Select the Right RN Course near Wheaton MN
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Wheaton MN.
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