Choosing a Nursing School Tips

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How should you decide between an RN online school and a traditional RN school?

Deciding Between an Online RN School and a Traditional RN School

If you have chosen to pursue your RN degree, you may have the option to study either in an on-campus setting or online. Making the decision to pursue one course of study over the other may be a difficult one; consider the following points when making your decision.

• What kind of a learner are you? If you learn face-to-face and need interpersonal interaction in order to learn, a traditional, on-campus degree is probably the best for you.

• Do you need to keep working? If you need to keep your current job, and it is not overly flexible about scheduling, a online degree may be better for you. Online degrees usually let you study at your own pace and on your own schedule.

• Are there RN schools close to you? If there are no RN programs near to your home and relocating is not an option, consider an online RN school. You can study from anywhere and you are not limited by geography.

• Are you comfortable with technology? If you are comfortable with technology, you may want to consider an online degree. If you are not well-versed in computers, web, and chat programs, a traditional degree may be the way to go.

   
How do you become a nursing assistant?

Schooling for Nursing Assistants

If you are looking for a career change but are not interested in becoming an RN, you can become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), or nurse's aide. To become a CNA, you can usually attend night school at a local adult education center. The course of study is usually brief, and with this degree you will be able to apply for jobs after you complete your courses.

If you are interested in becoming an RN in the future but need a job immediately, a CNA job may be good for you in the interim. You can support yourself with a certified nursing assistant's job and attend night school or school online to get your RN. In some instances, a CNA may help you gain an advantage getting in to RN school later.

   
How do you become an RN?

Becoming an RN

If you want to become an RN, you have two choices in regards to education: an ADN degree and a BSN degree. Here is some info on both to help you figure out which desgree is best for you. ADN degree: The Associate Degree Nurse can earn an associate's degree in in about two years, and become a licensed nurse. This option is good if you have limited time to earn your degree, or if you are not interested in getting a bachelor's degree.

However, most medical facilities will require a bachelor's degree for career advancement. BSN degree: The Bachelor of Science in Nursing is usually a four-year course of study that will result in a bachelor's degree and a nursing license. In addition to practical nursing topics, a BSN will focus on theoretical applications of nursing in patient care and elsewhere. If you plan on advancing up the career ladder or getting an advanced degree in the future, the BSN degree is for you.

   
What is an ADN degree?

Getting Your ADN Degree

If you are considering going to RN school, your first step is to consider what type of nursing degree you want to earn. One common degree for those looking to break into the nursing field is the ADN degree, or the Associate Degree Nurse.

The ADN degree focuses on the practical aspects of nursing and getting your nursing license in the shortest amount of time. Most ADN degrees can be earned in as little as two years. If you want to become a nurse and don't want to commit to a four-year degree, an ADN degree may be for you.

Before signing on for this program, consider this one point: most nurses need a minimum of a BSN degree for career advancement. However, there are many RN to BSN degrees available for nurses with their license but without their BSN, so completing your bachelor's degree later is always an option.

   
How do you find RN schools?

Finding RN Schools

If you have decided that you want to become a nurse, or further your nursing education, your next step will be to find a RN school that is right for you. How do you go about finding RN schools? The best place to start is online. Open up your favorite search engine and do a search for “rn school,” “rn training,” or “nursing school.” You will probably be overwhelmed at the search results.

To narrow down the results you get from the search engine, either restrict the search by location (your state, your geographical area) or type of school (online or on-campus). Once you have restricted your results, make a list of the schools that fit your criteria, and begin looking for more specific information on those individual schools.

You can usually request information from RN schools online, or you can call their admissions office for a catalog and other materials. If you do not have access to a computer or the Internet, check at your local library to see if they have terminals available for you to use or if they have a current list of nursing schools.

   
What kind of schooling is available for advanced nursing degrees?

Schooling for Advanced Nursing Degrees

Once you have completed your BSN degree (bachelor of science in nursing), you can choose to complete advanced degrees in nursing to further your career. There are several advanced degrees in nursing, including the MSN (master of science in nursing) and doctorate degrees in nursing. You must have earned your BSN degree and your RN license in order to begin any of these degrees. Many nurses who are looking to get into hospital administration or nursing education choose to earn their MSN degree. There are several traditional MSN degrees, offering on-campus programs, as well as online MSN programs, which allow you to study at home and at your own pace.

   
How can you further your RN education at South University Online?

Furthering Your RN Education

If you are already an RN and want to further your education, here are the options available through South University Online:

RN to BSN degree. At South University Online, you can earn your BSN if you already have associate's degree or nursing diploma. You can earn the degree in anywhere from 1 ½ to 2 years. The RN to BSN program will focus on theoretical applications of nursing in patient care and elsewhere.

MSN degree. You can earn your MSN degree completely online through South University 's new MSN program. If you already have your Bachelor's degree in nursing and want to take your career to the next level, the MSN degree is for you. You will be able to move into nursing education or management upon completion of the MSN

   
What kinds of requirements are necessary for South University’s MSN program?

Requirements for Admission to South University's MSN Program

In order to be accepted to South University's MSN program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • A valid RN license
  • A BSN degree from an accredited school
  • Transcripts from all undergraduate programs attended
  • Proof of high school graduation
  • A three semester credit hour course in descriptive and inferential statistics, completed with a C or higher
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Admissions essay
  • Resume with work, professional, and volunteer experience

   
What do you need to know about nursing schools and accreditation?

Nursing Schools and Accreditation

If you are interested in going to RN school, one important point to consider about any school you're investigating is whether or not it's accredited. The National League for Nursing Accreditation Committee (NLNAC) is the national accrediting body for any kind of nursing education program. They set criteria for the schools they evaluate to make sure the institutions maintain a standard of educational quality.

Schools volunteer to be accredited. If you attend an RN school that is not accredited, it can delay your opportunity to sit for your boards (the nursing licensure tests), which can result in a delay of your nursing license.

   
What kind of financial aid is available for RN school?

RN Schools and Financial Aid

Whether you decide to attend an online RN school or a traditional RN course of study, tuition will likely play a factor in your school of choice. However, for most RN schools, financial aid is available for qualified students. Tuition for most state RN schools is in the $100-$300/credit hour range, with different fees for residents vs. non-residents.

If you choose to study online, you will usually only be required to pay resident tuition, even if you don't live in the state. To learn about financial aid available to you, check with the school's office of scholarships and financial aid. They can tell you about school-specific loans, grants, and other forms of aid available to students. There are also federal sources of financial aid available for those attending RN school. You can fill out financial aid forms online, and there are directories of financial aid assistance available at various places on the web.

   
What kinds of courses will you take at South University's MSN program?

RN Schools: MSN Course of Study

If you have decided to pursue your MSN at South University Online, you will want to know what kinds of classes you will take. The following topics may be covered in your MSN classes at South University Online:

  • Current healthcare issues
  • Decision making strategies
  • Designing valid and reliable testing
  • Learning how to design and evaluate academic curriculum for nurses
  • Designing teaching plans
  • Management and education skills

A MSN from South University is designed to help you break into the nursing management or education field. You will learn about topics that will help you advance your career and make you more valuable to your employer.

   
What are the criteria for good nursing schools?

Determining Criteria for RN Schools

Once you have a list of schools you are interested in looking at further, you will need to determine what criteria a nursing school must meet for you to be interested in attending. Consider the following points:

• Is the school accredited? A school must be accredited in order for you to get your nursing license

• Is the school close, if you want to attend on-campus? Make sure your travel time won't be prohibitive if you want to attend a traditional RN school

• Where do the graduates end up working? Talk with the career services office or office of admissions to see where the graduates in nursing generally get their jobs after graduation

• Is it affordable? Find out what the tuition is, and see if it fits in your budget

• Do they have an online option? If you don't want to attend a traditional RN program, make sure the schools you're investigating have online RN programs

   
What are the differences between an ADN degree and a diploma nursing degree?

ADN Versus Diploma Nursing Degrees

If you want to get your RN quickly, you may be debating between an ADN degree and a diploma nursing degree. But what are the differences?

Both courses of study will allow you to become a nurse and work in the health care field. These programs are usually offered through a hospital or other like facility, and when you finish your program, you will be certified to work in a hospital or other inpatient facility with your diploma.

An ADN, or an associate's degree in nursing, is usually offered through a community college. When you finish the program, you will have an associate's degree and will be qualified to work anywhere an RN can work. However, most facilities require a BSN for career advancement.

Once you have completed either a diploma nursing degree or an AND degree, you may want to consider furthering your education with a BSN degree. South University offers a RN to BSN completion program for diploma or associate's degree nurses that can be completed in as little as 1 ½ years, entirely online.

   
What kinds of points should you consider before applying to RN school?

RN School Considerations

If you have decided you want to further your RN education at South University Online, you must make a few decisions, such as:

  • What kind of degree do you want? Do you have an associate's degree, or do you already have a BSN? If you have an associate's degree, the RN to BSN completion program is for you. If you already have your BSN, then a MSN is a good choice.
  • How much do you want to spend? South University Online is affordable, and financial aid is available for those who qualify, further defraying the cost of the degree
  • How much time do you have? If you want to earn your degree as quickly as possible, you can enroll for accelerated classes at South University Online, which take only 5 ½ weeks to complete

   
What is the clinical component involved in a RN degree?

RN Schools and Clinical Components

If you have decided to attend South University Online's MSN or RN to BSN completion program, you will have to complete a clinical component to earn your degree.

The clinical component is designed to put the skills you learn in the classroom (or, in South University's case, via the web) to work. You will work with patients, other nurses, and doctors to make the knowledge you've gained real. By engaging in the clinical requirements for your degree, you will learn how to care for you patients better and increase your value to your employer.

At South University Online, you can schedule your clinical component at a facility close to you, making it easy to complete the requirement.

   
What are the criteria for good online nursing schools?

The Criteria for Good RN Schools

Here are some questions to ask yourself when looking at different online RN schools:

  • Is the school accredited? A school must be accredited in order for you to get your nursing license. South University is regionally accredited by SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools)
  • Where do the graduates get jobs? The career services office or office of admissions at South University Online can tell you where the graduates in nursing generally get their jobs after graduation
  • Is it affordable? South University Online is approximately $262/credit hour for undergraduate courses, and financial aid is available
  • How well is their online program established? Look at how long the school has been having online courses, and what percentage of their courses are online. The longer the online courses have been offered, and the more they offer, the better equipped the school will be. South University Online has been offering online classes for several years, and has a well-established online program in multiple areas

   
How should you decide between an RN online school and a traditional RN school?

Online Versus Traditional RN Schools

If you have chosen to pursue your RN to BSN or MSN degree, you may have the option to study either in an on-campus setting or online, like at South University Online. Consider the following points about traditional versus online programs:

  • Online degrees let you keep working. At South University Online, the RN to BSN and MSN programs are flexible and work with your schedule. You can study at your own pace and on your own timeframe, making it easier to keep working
  • You don't have to have an RN school close to you. If there are no RN programs near to your home and relocating is not an option, South University Online is an excellent option. You can study from anywhere and you are not limited by geography
  • You must be comfortable with technology. Earning your degree from South University Online means you will be taking classes via the web and interacting with students and professors via technology; you must be comfortable with technology in order to be successful

   
How do I become a LPN or LVN?

Schooling For LPN/LVNs

If you are looking for a job in nursing but don't want to attend a two-year or four-year RN degree program, you can work to become a LPN or LVN in about a year. LPN, licensed practical nurses, or LVN, licensed vocational nurses, work with RNs or physicians.

You can usually earn your certification to become an LPN or LVN from a junior or community college, or through a vocational school. A job as an LPN or LVN is also a good option while you are going to RN school to help support yourself. Some schools offer credit to people who have gone through LPN or LVN training when they go back to earn your RN.

   
What kinds of points should you consider before applying to RN school?

Considerations Before Applying to RN School

Once you've decided to attend RN school, there are a few things to consider before beginning your course of program. Here are some common questions to ask yourself:

• What kind of degree do you want? Do you want a BSN, or an associate's degree in nursing (ADN), or other nursing certificate?

• Where do you want to study? Do you want to study on-campus, or at home? You need to decide between a traditional RN school and an online RN school.

• How much do you want to spend? Check the tuition of all the schools you're considering and decide which one fits in your budget.

• How much time do you have? Do you need to earn your license now, or do you have four years to devote to a bachelor's degree? If time is of the essence, consider an associate's degree or a LPN/LVN course of study.

   
What kind of financial aid is available for RN school?

Financial Aid for RN Schools

At South University Online, you can earn financial aid to make the cost of the degree more affordable.

There are school-specific loans, grants, and other forms of aid available to students at South University Online. There are also federal sources of financial aid available for those attending RN school. South University offers Pell Grants, Stafford Loans, work-study, and various other sources of aid. You can fill out financial aid forms online, and there are directories of financial aid assistance available at various places on the web.

   
What kind of schooling is available for advanced nursing degrees?

Advanced Nursing Degrees

Once you have completed your BSN degree (bachelor of science in nursing), you can choose to complete your MSN degree at South University Online to further your career.

The MSN, or Master of Science in Nursing, requires you to have earned your BSN degree and your RN license in order to begin. South University Online's MSN program is designed for the busy professional nurse.

If you want to break into hospital administration or nursing education, you will need to earn their MSN degree. Upon completion of your MSN degree at South University Online, you can advance more quickly in your career through your newfound knowledge in areas like nursing education and nursing trends.

   
What does a BSN course of study look like?

What a BSN Course of Study Looks Like

If you are interested in getting your BSN degree at South University Online, you may be wondering what kind of classes you'll take and in what kind of order. Here is a typical semester breakdown of a four-year course of study for a BSN:

Semesters One-Four (first two years): general education prerequisites, like English, math, science, and history

Semester Five: Intro to Professional Nursing; Pathopharmacology; Health Assessment I; Health Care Delivery

Semester Six: Nursing/Care of Infants and Children; Science and Research for Nursing; Adult Health Nursing; Gerontological Nursing; Adult Nursing Clinical

Semester Seven: Psychiatric Nursing; Informatics and Technology; Nursing Care of Childbearing Family; Electives

Semester Eight: Community Health Nursing; Heath Care Delivery; Clinical

   
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