How to Find the Right Nursing College in Loudon New Hampshire
Locating the right nursing school near Loudon NH may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Loudon NH medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 Loudon NH, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Loudon NH. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by New Hampshire community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at New Hampshire colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Loudon NH or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Loudon NH. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be New Hampshire approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Loudon NH area. The duration of the training program 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for New Hampshire to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in New Hampshire. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Loudon NH home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within New Hampshire 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 already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Loudon NH as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Loudon NH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Loudon NH area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the New Hampshire school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Loudon NH 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Loudon NH medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Loudon NH area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Loudon NH
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Loudon NH.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own 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.
Some Other Cities in New Hampshire