How to Choose a Nursing Program in South Berwick Maine
Finding the best nursing college near South Berwick ME may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the South Berwick ME healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function 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 area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in South Berwick ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in South Berwick ME. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in South Berwick ME or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in South Berwick ME. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying 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 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 warrants that the core curriculum 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the South Berwick ME area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Maine. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your South Berwick ME home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use 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 necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to South Berwick ME along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near South Berwick 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the South Berwick ME area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. 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 call some local South Berwick 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 schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the South Berwick ME medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all South Berwick ME area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near South Berwick ME
Selecting the right registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in South Berwick ME.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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