How to Select a Nursing School in Salem New Hampshire
Searching for the right nursing program near Salem NH may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Salem NH medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Salem NH, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Salem NH. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve 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 typically a 2 year program offered by New Hampshire community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at New Hampshire colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Salem NH or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Salem NH. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be New Hampshire approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Salem NH area. The duration 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for New Hampshire to make certain 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in New Hampshire. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Salem NH home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Salem NH and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Salem NH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Salem NH area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Salem 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 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 Salem NH healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Salem NH area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Salem NH
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Salem NH.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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