How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Rocky Hill Connecticut
Finding the right nursing program near Rocky Hill CT may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Rocky Hill CT medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Rocky Hill CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Rocky Hill CT. And in order 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Rocky Hill CT or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Rocky Hill CT. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Rocky Hill CT area. The duration of the instruction 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Connecticut. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Rocky Hill CT home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations 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 active schedule.
Things 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 on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Rocky Hill CT along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Rocky Hill CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Rocky Hill CT area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Rocky Hill 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Rocky Hill CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Rocky Hill 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 too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Rocky Hill CT
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Rocky Hill CT.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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