How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Brookfield Connecticut
Choosing the best nursing school near Brookfield CT may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you 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 assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Brookfield CT healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring 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 higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Brookfield CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Brookfield CT. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Brookfield CT or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Brookfield CT. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Brookfield CT area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in 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 minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Connecticut. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Brookfield CT home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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 more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, 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 within Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Brookfield CT and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Brookfield CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Brookfield CT area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Brookfield CT 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Brookfield CT medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Brookfield CT area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Brookfield CT
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Brookfield CT.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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