How to Pick a Nursing Program near Winnebago Illinois
Searching for the right nursing program near Winnebago IL may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing college. There are various key additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Winnebago IL medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Winnebago IL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Illinois community colleges. It preps 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) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Illinois 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 may wish 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 2 year program after receiving 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 earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Illinois board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Winnebago IL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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 pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Winnebago IL area and throughout Illinois and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Winnebago IL, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specific 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 an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Illinois or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Illinois school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Winnebago IL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Winnebago IL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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 mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Winnebago IL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Winnebago IL?
The Galena and Chicago Union Railroad, encouraged by Chicago merchants in all the urban communities, arrived in Rockford on the east side of the Rock River in August 1852. Each town at the west end of the line as it continued west became a magnet of growth, motivated by the massive leverage of farmers arriving with their livestock, or wagonloads of produce ready for delivery to market. In 1853, then the Galena and Chicago Union extended to the west from Rockford to Freeport. This track forged through both Elida (later called Winnebago), and Pecatonica, igniting local growth. In October 1854 the village's train station was laid out, and by rights was the center of attention. The depot attracted commercial development, warehouses and stockyards emerged near the tracks. In January 1855, Joseph D. Warner, who was the first railroad station agent, finished his house on South Elida Street.
Then from 1903 through 1930, the village was served by the Rockford and Interurban Railway, an electric interurban line with frequent passenger service from Rockford or Pecatonica and Freeport. This line also brought electrical power into Winnebago. At this time laborers started commuting to work at an ever-growing Rockford, and many more residents did their shopping in Rockford rather than locally. Rides from Winnebago to Rockford were $.25.
The community was first settled in 1835. The first settlement was actually at Westfield corners because that was where the stagecoach route passed through. The first settler in the Winnebago Township was David Adams Holt in 1835. The first school in Winnebago Township was established at Westfield in 1839. Elijah Holt built a house in 1840 that is still standing in Winnebago Township on Montague Rd. which is now part of the Severson Dells Forest Preserve; a marker was placed there by the D.A.R. in 1981.
Pick the Right RN College near Winnebago IL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Winnebago IL.
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