How to Select a Nursing College in Moodus Connecticut
Locating the best nursing school near Moodus CT may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Moodus CT medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Moodus CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Moodus CT. And 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 two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Moodus CT or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Moodus CT. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum 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 obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Moodus CT area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Connecticut. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Moodus CT home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Moodus CT along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Moodus CT.
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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Moodus CT area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Moodus 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 colleges 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 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 Moodus CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Moodus CT area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Moodus CT
Selecting the right registered nursing program is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 licensed registered nurse in Moodus CT.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to 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 abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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