How to Select a Nursing School in Newport Maine
Selecting the best nursing college near Newport ME may feel like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Newport ME medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Newport ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Newport 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Maine community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Newport ME or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Newport ME. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Newport ME area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 training course is state certified. In addition to 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Maine. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component 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 remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Newport ME home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Newport ME and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Newport ME.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Newport ME area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Newport 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Newport ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Newport ME area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Newport ME
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both 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 pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Newport ME.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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