How to Pick a Nursing School in Whitefield New Hampshire
Locating the best nursing college near Whitefield NH may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Whitefield NH healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Whitefield 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 Whitefield NH. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by New Hampshire community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at New Hampshire colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Whitefield NH or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Whitefield NH. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be New Hampshire approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Whitefield NH area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for New Hampshire to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in New Hampshire. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Whitefield NH home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within New Hampshire and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Whitefield NH as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Whitefield NH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 Whitefield NH area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New Hampshire or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the New Hampshire school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Whitefield NH 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Whitefield NH healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Whitefield NH area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Whitefield NH
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Whitefield NH.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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