How to Select a Nursing School in Windham Connecticut
Locating the right nursing school near Windham 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 already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Windham CT medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 Windham CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Windham CT. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Windham CT or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Windham CT. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Windham 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 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 instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make sure that the training 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 additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Connecticut. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Windham CT home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Windham CT along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
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. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Windham 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Windham CT area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Windham 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Windham CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Windham 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 as well. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Windham CT
Selecting the right registered nursing program is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Windham CT.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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