How to Pick a Nursing School near Placitas New Mexico
Choosing the best nursing program near Placitas NM may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regretably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing college. There are several crucial additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Placitas NM medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Placitas NM area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by New Mexico community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at New Mexico colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 generally 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 earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the New Mexico board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific 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 accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many Placitas NM students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Placitas NM area and throughout New Mexico and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Placitas NM, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New Mexico or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the New Mexico school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Placitas NM 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 schools you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Placitas NM healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific 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 Placitas NM hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Placitas NM?
Placitas, New Mexico
Choose the Right RN Program near Placitas NM
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using 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 ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Placitas NM.
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