How to Find the Right Nursing School near Vancouver Washington
Selecting the right nursing college near Vancouver WA may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing college. There are several crucial additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Vancouver WA medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Vancouver WA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Washington community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Washington colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Washington board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Vancouver WA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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. So if your job and household obligations 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 busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Vancouver WA area and throughout Washington and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. 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 pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Vancouver WA, which are oftentimes not provided 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Washington or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Washington school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Vancouver WA 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 programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Vancouver WA healthcare 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific 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 Vancouver WA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Vancouver WA?
Vancouver is a city on the north bank of the Columbia River in the U.S. state of Washington, and the largest suburb of Portland, Oregon. Incorporated in 1857, it is the fourth largest city in the state, with a population of 161,791 as of April 1, 2010 census. Vancouver is the county seat of Clark County and forms part of the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area, the 23rd largest metropolitan area in the United States. Originally established in 1825 around Fort Vancouver, a fur-trading outpost, the city is located on the Washington–Oregon border along the Columbia River, directly north of Portland. In 2005, Money magazine named it No. 91 on its list of best places in America to live. In 2016, WalletHub ranks Vancouver the 39th best place in the US for families to live.
Vancouver shares its name with the larger city of Vancouver in southern British Columbia, Canada, approximately 300 mi (480 km) to the north. Both cities were named after sea captain George Vancouver, but the American city is older; Vancouver, B.C., was incorporated 29 years after the incorporation of Vancouver, Washington, and more than 60 years after the name Vancouver was first used in reference to the historic Fort Vancouver trading post on the Columbia River. City officials have periodically suggested changing the U.S. city's name to Fort Vancouver to reduce confusion with its larger and better-known northern neighbor. Many Pacific Northwest residents distinguish between the two cities by referring to the Canadian city as "Vancouver, B.C." and the United States city as "Vancouver, Washington," or "Vancouver, USA." Local nicknames include "Vantucky" (though this is often used as a derogatory term) and "The 'Couv(e)". In 2013, the nickname "Vansterdam" surfaced as a result of the legalization of marijuana in the state of Washington; this is a reference to the cannabis-legal city of Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
The Vancouver area was inhabited by a variety of Native American tribes, most recently the Chinook and Klickitat nations, with permanent settlements of timber longhouses. The Chinookan and Klickitat names for the area were reportedly Skit-so-to-ho and Ala-si-kas, respectively, meaning "land of the mud-turtles." First European contact was made in 1775, with approximately half of the indigenous population dead from smallpox before the Lewis and Clark expedition camped in the area in 1806. Within another fifty years, other actions and diseases such as measles, malaria and influenza had reduced the Chinookan population from an estimated 80,000 "to a few dozen refugees, landless, slaveless and swindled out of a treaty."
Pick the Right RN Program near Vancouver WA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Vancouver WA.
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