How to Pick a Nursing Program in Ashaway Rhode Island
Selecting the best nursing college near Ashaway RI may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Ashaway RI medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Ashaway RI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Ashaway RI. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Rhode Island community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Rhode Island 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 might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Ashaway RI or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Rhode Island board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Ashaway RI. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Rhode Island approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ashaway RI area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Rhode Island to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Rhode Island. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Ashaway RI home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper 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 many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Rhode Island and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Ashaway RI as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors 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 see how your pick measures up to the field.
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. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Ashaway RI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Ashaway RI area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Rhode Island or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Rhode Island school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Ashaway RI 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 schools you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Ashaway RI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Ashaway RI area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Ashaway RI
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Ashaway RI.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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