How to Choose a Nursing School in Eliot Maine
Finding the best nursing program near Eliot ME may feel like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure 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 receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Eliot ME medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary 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 along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Eliot ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Eliot ME. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Maine community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Maine 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 desire to progress 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Eliot ME or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Eliot ME. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Eliot ME area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Maine to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Maine. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Eliot ME home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Eliot ME as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Eliot ME.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Eliot ME area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Eliot ME healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Eliot ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Eliot ME area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Eliot ME
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Eliot ME.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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