How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Stafford Connecticut
Finding the right nursing school near Stafford CT may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently 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 determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Stafford CT medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Stafford CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Stafford CT. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations 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 position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 may 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Stafford CT or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Stafford CT. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 guarantees 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Stafford CT area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Connecticut. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Stafford CT home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Stafford CT as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Stafford CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Stafford CT area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Stafford CT healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Stafford CT medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Stafford CT area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Stafford CT
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional 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 licensed registered nurse in Stafford CT.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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