How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Walla Walla Washington
Finding the right nursing program near Walla Walla WA may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing school. There are several crucial additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Walla Walla WA medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Walla Walla WA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Washington community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Washington colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Washington board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Walla Walla WA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Walla Walla WA area and throughout Washington and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Walla Walla WA, 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Washington school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Walla Walla WA 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Walla Walla WA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Walla Walla WA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Walla Walla WA?
Walla Walla, Washington
The population of the city itself was 31,731 at the 2010 census. The population of Walla Walla and its two suburbs, the town of College Place and unincorporated "East Walla Walla," is about 45,000. Walla Walla is in the southeastern region of Washington, approximately four hours away by car from Portland, Oregon, and Seattle, Washington, and only six miles north of the Oregon border.
Recorded history in this state begins with the establishment of Fort Nez Perce in 1818 by the North West Company to trade with the Walla Walla people and other local Native American groups. At the time, the term "Nez Perce" was used more broadly than today, and included the Walla Walla in its scope in English usage. Fort Nez Perce had its name shift to Fort Walla Walla. It was located significantly west of the present city.
On September 1, 1836, Marcus Whitman arrived with his wife Narcissa Whitman. Here they established the Whitman Mission in an unsuccessful attempt to convert the local Walla Walla tribe to Christianity. Following a disease epidemic, both were killed by the Cayuse who believed that the missionaries were poisoning the native peoples. Whitman College was established in their honor.
Choose the Right RN School near Walla Walla WA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential 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 list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Walla Walla WA.
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