How to Pick a Nursing College in Stafford Springs Connecticut
Selecting the best nursing school near Stafford Springs CT may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Stafford Springs CT medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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 Stafford Springs CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Stafford Springs CT. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain 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 centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Stafford Springs CT or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Stafford Springs CT. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next 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, along with providing 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 kind of credential you seek, it should be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively 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 received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Stafford Springs CT area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training 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 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Connecticut. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Stafford Springs CT home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 family responsibilities have left you with very 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.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Stafford Springs CT and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Stafford Springs CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Stafford Springs CT area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Stafford Springs 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 programs 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Stafford Springs CT medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Stafford Springs CT area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Stafford Springs CT
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Stafford Springs CT.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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