How to Select a Nursing Program near West Chester Ohio
Finding the best nursing college near West Chester OH may seem like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to investigate 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 medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different West Chester OH medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the West Chester OH area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Ohio community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Ohio colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Ohio board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some West Chester OH students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue 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
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the West Chester OH area and throughout Ohio 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 already pointed out, the location of the school and the expense 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 sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in West Chester OH, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Ohio or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Ohio school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some West Chester OH 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 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the West Chester OH healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with West Chester OH hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near West Chester OH?
West Chester, Ohio
West Chester was laid out and platted in 1814. An old variant name of West Chester was Cadwallader. A post office called Cadwallader was established in 1828, and remained in operation until 1918.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near West Chester OH
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in West Chester OH.
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