How to Find the Right Nursing School in Lakeville Massachusetts
Locating the best nursing school near Lakeville MA may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lakeville MA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Lakeville MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Lakeville MA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive 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 past 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lakeville MA 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lakeville MA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Massachusetts approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 Lakeville MA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the training 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Lakeville MA home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited 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.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Lakeville MA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Lakeville MA.
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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Lakeville MA area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check 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 also. Also, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Lakeville 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 considering 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 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 good reputation within the Lakeville MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Lakeville MA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Lakeville MA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Lakeville MA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to 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 take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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