How to Select a Nursing Program in Morris Connecticut
Choosing the best nursing college near Morris CT may feel like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Morris CT medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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 high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Morris CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Morris CT. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two 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 normally a 2 year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Morris CT or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Morris CT. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive 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 in-depth training, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Morris CT area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Connecticut. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Morris CT home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Morris CT as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Morris CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Morris CT area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Morris 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Morris CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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 Morris 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 as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Morris CT
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 practicing nurse in Morris CT.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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