How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Winnfield Louisiana
Choosing the right nursing college near Winnfield LA may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regretably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Winnfield LA medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing 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 complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Winnfield LA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Louisiana community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Louisiana colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Louisiana board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Winnfield LA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Winnfield LA area and throughout Louisiana and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. 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 measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Winnfield LA, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Louisiana or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Louisiana school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Winnfield LA 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Winnfield LA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Winnfield LA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Winnfield LA?
Winnfield is a small city in the parish seat of Winn Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,749 at the 2000 census, and 4,840 in 2010. Three governors of the state of Louisiana were from Winnfield.
When Winn Parish was officially formed by the state legislature in 1852, Winnfield was established as the parish seat. During the Civil War, the area around Winnfield was the site of some minor skirmishes. Confederate forces defeated a Union detachment sent to destroy the Cary Salt Works in the area.
Three Louisiana governors were Winnfield natives and grew up here: Huey Long, Oscar K. Allen and Earl Long. Huey Long became governor, U.S. Senator. He was assassinated in 1935. Oscar K. Allen was elected governor in 1932. Earl Long, "the Louisiana Longshot," served in a variety of state positions, said to be more than other Louisianan, including elective office. He was elected governor in 1939, 1948 and 1956. He was elected to Congress in 1960 but died before he could assume office.
Select the Right RN Degree near Winnfield LA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, 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 using our list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Winnfield LA.
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