How to Pick a Nursing School near Wood South Dakota
Locating the best nursing program near Wood SD may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regretably, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing school. There are various essential additional aspects to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Wood SD medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing 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 normally 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 to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 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 available in the Wood SD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by South Dakota community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at South Dakota colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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 don’t forget to check with the South Dakota board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as 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 almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Wood SD students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Wood SD area and throughout South Dakota and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Wood SD, which are often not provided 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for South Dakota or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the South Dakota school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wood SD healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Wood SD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Wood SD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Wood SD?
Whitewood, South Dakota
As of the census of 2010, there were 927 people, 374 households, and 232 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,448.4 inhabitants per square mile (559.2/km2). There were 392 housing units at an average density of 612.5 per square mile (236.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.9% White, 0.8% African American, 3.7% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.5% of the population.
There were 374 households of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.8% were married couples living together, 8.3% had a female householder with no husband present, 7.0% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.0% were non-families. 30.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.05.
The median age in the city was 38.8 years. 26.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 6.5% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.7% were from 25 to 44; 28.8% were from 45 to 64; and 14.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 50.6% male and 49.4% female.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Wood SD
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wood SD.
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