How to Choose a Nursing School in Hyannis Massachusetts
Locating the best nursing college near Hyannis MA may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Hyannis MA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Hyannis MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Hyannis MA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Massachusetts 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 might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Hyannis MA or focus 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Hyannis MA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hyannis MA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires 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 becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Hyannis MA home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected 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 options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Hyannis MA along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial 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 final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Hyannis MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Hyannis MA area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Hyannis 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 programs 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Hyannis MA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Hyannis MA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Hyannis MA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, 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 produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Hyannis MA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary 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 possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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