How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Woods Hole Massachusetts
Choosing the best nursing college near Woods Hole MA may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Woods Hole MA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support 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. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Woods Hole MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Woods Hole 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 earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries 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 job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Woods Hole MA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Woods Hole MA. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Woods Hole MA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and 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 suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Woods Hole MA home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, 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 so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Woods Hole MA and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Woods Hole MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Woods Hole MA area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Woods Hole 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Woods Hole MA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Woods Hole MA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Woods Hole MA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Woods Hole MA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Massachusetts