How to Choose a Nursing School in Wellesley Massachusetts
Choosing the best nursing program near Wellesley MA may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Wellesley MA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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 Wellesley MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Wellesley MA. And in order 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 2 years, or advance to obtain 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 2 year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Wellesley MA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Wellesley MA. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally 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 usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 Massachusetts approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wellesley MA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Wellesley MA home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Wellesley MA along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Wellesley MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Wellesley MA area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Wellesley 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Wellesley MA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Wellesley MA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Wellesley MA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wellesley MA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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