How to Choose a Nursing School in Belvidere New Jersey
Choosing the right nursing program near Belvidere NJ may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Belvidere NJ medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid 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 responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. 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 Belvidere NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Belvidere NJ. 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Belvidere NJ 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the New Jersey board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Belvidere NJ. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Belvidere NJ area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in New Jersey. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Belvidere NJ home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Belvidere NJ along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Belvidere NJ.
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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Belvidere NJ area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the New Jersey school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Belvidere NJ 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Belvidere NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Belvidere NJ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Belvidere NJ
Picking the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Belvidere NJ.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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