How to Choose a Nursing Program in Harwich Port Massachusetts
Choosing the right nursing college near Harwich Port MA may feel like a challenging undertaking, 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 need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Harwich Port MA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Harwich Port MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Harwich Port MA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Harwich Port MA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Harwich Port MA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally 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 alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 pursue, it needs to be Massachusetts approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Harwich Port MA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the education 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Harwich Port MA home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Harwich Port MA along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Harwich Port MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Harwich Port MA area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Harwich Port MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 superb reputation within the Harwich Port MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Harwich Port MA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Harwich Port MA
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Harwich Port MA.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Massachusetts