How to Select a Nursing School in Lebanon Maine
Selecting the right nursing school near Lebanon ME may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lebanon ME healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Lebanon ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Lebanon ME. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Maine community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lebanon ME or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she 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 don’t forget to get in touch with the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lebanon ME. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally 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 option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly 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 obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lebanon ME area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Maine to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Maine. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Lebanon ME home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Lebanon ME and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Lebanon ME.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Lebanon ME area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Lebanon 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Lebanon ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Lebanon ME area nursing degree programs require a certain 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.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Lebanon ME
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Lebanon ME.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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