How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Gray Maine
Locating the best nursing program near Gray ME may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Gray ME healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Gray ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Gray 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 just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Maine community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 might desire 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Gray ME or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Gray ME. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Gray ME area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Maine to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Maine. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Gray ME home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Gray ME and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
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 make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Gray ME.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 Gray ME area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Gray ME 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 considering 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Gray ME medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Gray ME area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Gray ME
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Gray ME.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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