How to Pick a Nursing School near Smithfield Utah
Selecting the right nursing school near Smithfield UT may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regretably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing school. There are many key additional considerations to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Smithfield UT medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Smithfield UT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Utah community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Utah colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 usually a two year program after obtaining 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 obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Utah board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Smithfield UT students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Smithfield UT area and throughout Utah and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Smithfield UT, which are often not offered 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Utah or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet 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 Utah school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Smithfield UT 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 colleges you are looking at 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Smithfield UT medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. 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. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Smithfield UT hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Smithfield UT?
Smithfield is a city in Cache County, Utah, United States. The population was 9,495 at the 2010 census, with an estimated population of 11,014 in 2014. It is included in the Logan, Utah-Idaho Metropolitan Statistical Area, and is the second largest city in the area after Logan, the county seat. Smithfield is home to Sky View High School.
Originally known as "Summit Creek", Smithfield was founded in 1857 by the brothers Robert and John Thornley along with their cousin Seth Langdon who were sent north from Salt Lake City by Brigham Young to found a settlement on Summit Creek. After a preliminary scouting, Robert returned with his new wife Annie Brighton. The first winter was spent in a wagon box. By the next summer, with more settlers arriving, a small fort was built on the edge of the creek, one cabin of which remains. As the settlement grew, a bishop was named and the town took his name. By 1917 the town had planted trees on both sides of its Main Street and had acquired a Carnegie library and a Rotary club. Dependent for many years on dairying, a Del Monte canning factory, and the sugar beet industry, the town is now essentially a bedroom community for Logan and its Utah State University.
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,261 people, 2,066 households, and 1,782 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,686.6 people per square mile (650.5/km²). There were 2,159 housing units at an average density of 501.5 per square mile (193.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.23% White, 0.12% African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.48% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 2.82% from other races, and 1.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.04% of the population.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Smithfield UT
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you choose 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 pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Smithfield UT.
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