How to Choose a Nursing Program in Wales Massachusetts
Choosing the right nursing college near Wales MA may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Wales MA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Wales MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Wales MA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Wales MA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he 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 make sure to get in touch with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Wales MA. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from 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 kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Massachusetts approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wales MA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 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 requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Wales MA home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Wales MA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Wales MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Wales MA area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Wales 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 looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Wales MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Wales MA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check 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 School near Wales MA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wales MA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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