How to Pick a Nursing Program in Marlborough Connecticut
Locating the best nursing program near Marlborough CT may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Marlborough CT healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Marlborough CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Marlborough CT. And 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 advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Marlborough CT or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she 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 be sure to contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Marlborough CT. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Marlborough CT area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make sure that the training course 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Connecticut. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Marlborough CT home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more 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. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Marlborough CT and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Marlborough CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Marlborough CT area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Marlborough 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 considering 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Marlborough CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Marlborough CT area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Marlborough CT
Selecting the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Marlborough CT.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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