How to Choose a Nursing Program near Wilburton Oklahoma
Choosing the best nursing school near Wilburton OK may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing school. There are several key additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Wilburton OK medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wilburton OK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Oklahoma community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Oklahoma colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many Wilburton OK students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Wilburton OK area and throughout Oklahoma and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Wilburton OK, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Oklahoma school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wilburton OK 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 colleges 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 displeased 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 Wilburton OK medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Wilburton OK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Wilburton OK?
Wilburton is a city in Latimer County, Oklahoma, United States. It is the county seat of Latimer County. The city had a population of 2,843 at the 2010 census, a decline of 4.3 percent from 2,972 in 2000.Robbers Cave State Park is 5 miles (8.0 km) north of Wilburton.
The community now known as Wilburton was originally established as a group of settlers living around Riddle's Station, a stop for the Butterfield Overland Mail stagecoach along the trail from Fort Smith, Arkansas to Fort Worth, Texas. Riddle's Station was built in 1858 and the Overland Stage operated from 1857 to 1861. According to the Oklahoma Encyclopedia of History and Culture, it was likely named for Will Burton, a contractor and surveyor who was involved in platting the townsite and building the Choctaw Coal and Railway Company line from Wister to McAlester. According to Oklahoma Place Names, it was named after Elisha Wilbur, who was the president of the Lehigh Valley Railroad. The post office was established in 1891.
Initially, the local economy was based on cattle production and shipping. Then, during the 1890s and early 20th century, coal mining became the largest industry. In 1909, the state established the Oklahoma School of Mines and Metallurgy in Wilburton. The school name was later changed to Eastern Oklahoma A&M College, and is now known as Eastern Oklahoma State College.
Select the Right RN Program near Wilburton OK
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wilburton OK.
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