How to Pick a Nursing Program near Warrenton Oregon
Choosing the right nursing college near Warrenton OR may seem like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing school. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different Warrenton OR medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Warrenton OR area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Oregon community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Oregon colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Oregon board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Warrenton OR students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
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 guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Warrenton OR area and throughout Oregon and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Warrenton OR, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Oregon or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Oregon school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Warrenton OR healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Warrenton OR medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Warrenton OR hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Warrenton OR?
Choose the Right RN School near Warrenton OR
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Warrenton OR.
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