RN Nursing Programs in Bethlehem MD 21609

How to Find the Right Nursing School in Bethlehem Maryland

Bethlehem MD Registered NurseFinding the best nursing program near Bethlehem MD may feel like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Bethlehem MD medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Bethlehem MD, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Bethlehem MD. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Maryland community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Bethlehem MD or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Maryland board of nursing for any state mandates.

LVN and LPN Programs

RN assisting surgeon in Bethlehem MDThere are generally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bethlehem MD. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering 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 pursue, it should be Maryland approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bethlehem MD area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. 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 suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Maryland to make sure that the training course 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.

Nursing Online Degrees

attending nursing school online in Bethlehem MDAttending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Maryland. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Bethlehem MD home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

What to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Maryland and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Bethlehem MD as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Bethlehem MD.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Bethlehem MD area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working.

Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Maryland school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Bethlehem MD 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Bethlehem MD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.

Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Bethlehem MD area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Pick the Right RN Program near Bethlehem MD

Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both 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 select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bethlehem MD.

Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?

When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.

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