How to Choose a Nursing School near Westville Oklahoma
Finding the right nursing program near Westville OK may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing school. There are various key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Westville OK medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 normally 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 Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in 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 six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Westville OK area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Oklahoma community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain 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 Oklahoma colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Oklahoma board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Westville OK students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. 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. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Westville OK area and throughout Oklahoma and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Westville OK, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Oklahoma or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Oklahoma school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Westville OK 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Westville OK healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Westville OK hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Westville OK?
Before statehood, Westville was a community in the Goingsnake District of the Cherokee Nation. The town was founded in 1895, when the Kansas City, Pittsburg and Gulf Railroad (later acquired by the Kansas City Southern Railroad) was constructing a rail line from Kansas City to the Gulf Coast. The Westville post office was established on November 18, 1895. The town name honored Jim West, who lived one mile south of nearby Cincinnati, Arkansas, and whose son, Jim West, Jr., was an attorney for the Kansas City Southern Railway.
When Adair County was formed in 1907, Westville was identified as the county seat, due partly to its location at the intersection of two major railroads: the Kansas City Southern Railway and the St. Louis – San Francisco Railway. The county seat was moved to Stilwell in 1910.
Westville is located at 35°59′29″N 94°34′16″W / 35.99139°N 94.57111°W / 35.99139; -94.57111 (35.991414, -94.571088). It is 13 miles (21 km) north of Stilwell and 15 miles (24 km) south of Siloam Springs, Arkansas.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Westville OK
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select 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 nurse in Westville OK.
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