How to Select a Nursing College in Waterboro Maine
Locating the best nursing program near Waterboro ME may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Waterboro ME medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist 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 in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Waterboro ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Waterboro ME. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 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 normally a two year program made available by Maine community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Waterboro ME or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact 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 Waterboro ME. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Waterboro ME area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Maine to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Maine. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Waterboro ME home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree 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 no doubt are aware, 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 earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Waterboro ME along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Waterboro ME.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Waterboro ME area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations 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 find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Waterboro 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 looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Waterboro ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Waterboro ME area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Waterboro ME
Picking the right registered nursing school is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Waterboro ME.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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