The amount of people who have a non nursing degree, but who want to earn their nursing degrees is growing quickly. Many are looking for a degree of self fulfillment and career stability that they do not have in their current positions. If this sounds like you, keep reading to learn more about how you can change the direction of your current career track.
To earn a nursing degree as quickly as possible in Montana, many students are going back to school for an accelerated BSN. This degree takes 12-18 months, considerably less than the four-year BSN program. The accelerated BSN program is only available to students who already have bachelor's degrees.
Check out our listing of Accelerated or Fast Track BSN programs below to see which programs meet your needs. We have featured schools that offer distance learning options, which may present a high degree of flexibility for Montana residents. Simply request information from the schools below to learn more about Accelerated BSN options available to you.
Accelerated BSN Curriculum in Montana
The ultimate goal of an accelerated BSN program in Montana is to prepare you to work independently as a nurse in any nursing setting. Doing that in only 12 to 18 months can be challenging, so the layout of an accelerated BSN program is often very demanding.
If you choose to go to a traditional school, you may have to spend all day in school, five days a week to graduate. If you plan to study online, you can expect to spend a similar amount of time studying, but your coursework can likely be done when it is convenient for you. This is often the preferred option of students who are balancing school, work, and family life.
There are two parts to every Montana nursing program: lecture and clinical practice. Lectures dominate the first part of your nursing school experience, because they are where you learn how to be a nurse in many different settings and fields. In addition to general nursing courses that teach you techniques you will need in any nursing jobs, you will also have to take classes that prepare you for work in specialized areas of nursing. Some of the classes that are usually offered during an accelerated BSN include labor & delivery nursing, emergency room care, and nursing leadership skills.
Clinical rotations are usually done in the last few months of an accelerated BSN program in Montana. You learn how to take care of a variety of patients and practice all of your new nursing skills. This is where most nursing students figure out where they want their specialty to be. Pediatrics is a particularly important part of nursing rotations, as there is a growing need for school nurses in Montana, even prompting new legislation in Montana allows school nurses to administer epinephrine independently.
This demonstrates the high degree of autonomy that nurses enjoy, and highlights the need for well educated nursing professionals. By earning your Bachelor's in Science in Nursing, you may find that you not only improve the health of Montana residents, but you may find a sense of self fulfillment you have not experienced in other job sectors.
Career Outlook in Montana
With the widely dispersed population of Montana, there is a need for nurses that can work in rural and remote areas. The nationwide need for nurses is well-known, but it's even worse in Montana. O*Net expects there to be a 39% increase in new nursing jobs in Montana between 2010 and 2020. Perhaps the great need for nurses is why Montana nurses can earn a median salary of $58,200 per year.
There are many nursing employers in Montana, including hospitals and clinics. Some of the largest nursing employers in Montana include Novasyte, Genesis Rehabilitation Services, Merraine Group, and Coventry Health Care. As a Baccalaureate prepared nurse, you may also find that you are qualified for many community based and manager level positions, perhaps expanding your career options even further.
Licensing Considerations in Montana
The Montana Board of Nursing administers, renews, and regulates nursing licenses. Montana is not a compact state, so you may only use your Montana license to work in Montana. After you graduate from your nursing school, you can take the NCLEX-RN exam. Once you pass the NCLEX-RN exam, you are eligible to earn your license. Once you have earned your initial nursing license, you must complete 24 hours of continuing education every two years. You must also renew your license every two years.
Nurses licensed in Montana may choose to join the Montana Nurses Association. Nurses can take advantage of resources, such as a free online training course on preventing workplace violence. Nurses can also subscribe to The Pulse, a Montana nursing newsletter. Union resources include bargaining resources and advocacy support, as well, uniting the profession of nursing for enhanced benefit.