How to Select a Nursing School in Bloomfield Connecticut
Selecting the right nursing college near Bloomfield CT may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Bloomfield CT medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Bloomfield CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Bloomfield CT. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Bloomfield CT or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bloomfield CT. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bloomfield CT area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Connecticut. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Bloomfield CT home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Bloomfield CT as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
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. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Bloomfield CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 Bloomfield CT area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Bloomfield CT 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 schools 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bloomfield CT medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Bloomfield CT area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Bloomfield CT
Picking the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bloomfield CT.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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