How to Pick a Nursing College in West Yarmouth Massachusetts
Finding the best nursing college near West Yarmouth MA may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the West Yarmouth MA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in West Yarmouth MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in West Yarmouth 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in West Yarmouth 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in West Yarmouth MA. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain 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, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the West Yarmouth MA area. The length of the instruction 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 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 period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your West Yarmouth MA home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to West Yarmouth MA as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near West Yarmouth MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 West Yarmouth 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 practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional West Yarmouth MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 favorable reputation within the West Yarmouth MA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all West Yarmouth MA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near West Yarmouth MA
Selecting the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in West Yarmouth MA.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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