How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Somersworth New Hampshire
Selecting the best nursing school near Somersworth NH may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Somersworth NH healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 Somersworth NH, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Somersworth NH. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by New Hampshire community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at New Hampshire colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Somersworth NH or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Somersworth NH. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Somersworth NH area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in New Hampshire. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Somersworth NH home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning 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 affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Somersworth NH along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Somersworth NH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Somersworth NH area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Hampshire or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Somersworth NH healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 dissatisfied 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 Somersworth NH medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Somersworth NH area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Somersworth NH
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Somersworth NH.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in New Hampshire