How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Bridgeton New Jersey
Searching for the best nursing program near Bridgeton NJ may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness 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 pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bridgeton NJ medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Bridgeton NJ, 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 Bridgeton NJ. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by New Jersey community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bridgeton NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he 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 be sure to get in touch with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bridgeton NJ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing 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 type of credential you pursue, it needs to be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bridgeton NJ area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in New Jersey. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Bridgeton NJ home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Bridgeton NJ along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Bridgeton NJ.
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) along 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 Bridgeton NJ area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the New Jersey school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Bridgeton NJ 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Bridgeton NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Bridgeton 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 too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Bridgeton NJ
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bridgeton NJ.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in New Jersey