How to Find the Right Nursing School in Gales Ferry Connecticut
Finding the right nursing college near Gales Ferry CT may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly 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 necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Gales Ferry CT medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Gales Ferry CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Gales Ferry CT. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 might wish 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Gales Ferry CT or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Gales Ferry CT. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to 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 Gales Ferry CT area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Connecticut. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Gales Ferry CT home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Gales Ferry CT along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Gales Ferry CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 imperative that the Gales Ferry CT area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Gales Ferry 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Gales Ferry CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Gales Ferry CT area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Gales Ferry CT
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Gales Ferry CT.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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