How to Pick a Nursing College in Derwood Maryland
Searching for the right nursing program near Derwood MD may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Derwood MD medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Derwood MD, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Derwood MD. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Maryland community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Maryland 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 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Derwood MD or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maryland board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Derwood MD. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Maryland approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively 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 obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Derwood MD area. The duration of the training 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 receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Maryland to make certain that the training 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 Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Maryland. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Derwood MD home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Maryland and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Derwood MD and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Derwood MD.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Derwood MD area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Maryland school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Derwood MD 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Derwood MD medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Derwood MD area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Derwood MD
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical 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 checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Derwood MD.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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