How to Pick a Nursing Program in Northeast Harbor Maine
Searching for the right nursing program near Northeast Harbor ME may seem like a complicated project, especially 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 obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Northeast Harbor ME healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Northeast Harbor ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Northeast Harbor ME. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by Maine community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Northeast Harbor ME or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other 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 requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Northeast Harbor ME. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide 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 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 some 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 Northeast Harbor ME area. The length 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 have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Maine to make certain that the training is state approved. 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 prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Maine. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Northeast Harbor ME home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Northeast Harbor ME as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Northeast Harbor ME.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Northeast Harbor ME area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Northeast Harbor 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Northeast Harbor ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Northeast Harbor ME area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Northeast Harbor ME
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Northeast Harbor ME.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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