How to Choose a Nursing College near Pinedale Wyoming
Finding the best nursing school near Pinedale WY may feel like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know 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 acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing college. There are various crucial additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Pinedale WY medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function 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 specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pinedale WY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Wyoming community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Wyoming colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Wyoming board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Pinedale WY 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 reduced, 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Pinedale WY area and throughout Wyoming and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Pinedale WY, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific 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 provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Wyoming or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Wyoming school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Pinedale WY 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 Pinedale WY medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Pinedale WY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Pinedale WY?
Pinedale is a town in and the county seat of Sublette County, Wyoming, United States. The population was 2,030 at the 2010 census. Pinedale is an important hunting outfitting town and a gateway to the Wind River Mountains. It is also a major gateway to the Jackson Hole area in Wyoming. Pinedale is also near several large natural gas fields, including the Pinedale Anticline and Jonah Field. Attractions include the Museum of the Mountain Man, Green River Rendezvous Days, White Pine Ski Area, and the Town Park System along the Pine Creek Corridor in the middle of town. The mayor is Bob Jones, who was elected in 2014.
Pinedale is located at 42°51′58″N 109°51′53″W / 42.86611°N 109.86472°W / 42.86611; -109.86472 (42.866162, −109.864622) and sits at an elevation of 7,175 feet above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 2.15 square miles (5.57 km2), all of it land.
Primarily due to its high elevation, Pinedale has a subalpine climate (Köppen Dfc) with summers featuring very warm afternoons and cold mornings, plus very cold, dry winters. The average January low is −0.1 °F (−17.8 °C), on average 53.2 mornings fall to or below 0 °F or −17.8 °C and between 1971 and 2000 −20 °F or −28.9 °C was reached on an average of seven mornings each winter. The coldest temperature on record since records started in 1948 is −49 °F (−45 °C) during the bitter cold wave of December 1990.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Pinedale WY
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Pinedale WY.
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