How to Find the Right Nursing College in Columbia Falls Maine
Finding the best nursing school near Columbia Falls ME may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Columbia Falls ME medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. 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 Columbia Falls ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Columbia Falls ME. And in order 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Maine community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Columbia Falls ME or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Columbia Falls ME. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Columbia Falls ME area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure 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 Maine to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Maine. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Columbia Falls ME home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with 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 busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
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 guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine 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 previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Columbia Falls ME as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Columbia Falls ME.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Columbia Falls ME area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Columbia Falls ME 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Columbia Falls ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Columbia Falls ME area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Columbia Falls ME
Picking the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Columbia Falls ME.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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