How to Pick a Nursing College in Upper Marlboro Maryland
Choosing the right nursing program near Upper Marlboro MD may seem like a complicated project, particularly 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 need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Upper Marlboro MD healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Upper Marlboro MD, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Upper Marlboro MD. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Maryland community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Upper Marlboro MD or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Maryland board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Upper Marlboro MD. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Maryland approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Upper Marlboro MD area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course 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 Maryland to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Maryland. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Upper Marlboro MD home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Maryland and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Upper Marlboro MD and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Upper Marlboro MD.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 imperative that the Upper Marlboro MD area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Maryland school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Upper Marlboro 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 considering 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Upper Marlboro MD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Upper Marlboro MD area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Upper Marlboro MD
Choosing the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Upper Marlboro MD.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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