How to Pick a Nursing Program in Bridgewater New Jersey
Finding the best nursing college near Bridgewater NJ may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Bridgewater NJ healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific 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:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Bridgewater NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Bridgewater NJ. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 example to become a nurse practitioner in Bridgewater NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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 make sure to get in touch with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bridgewater NJ. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying 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 needs to be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately 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 education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bridgewater NJ area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree in New Jersey. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Bridgewater NJ home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Bridgewater NJ along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Bridgewater NJ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bridgewater NJ area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies 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 Jersey school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Bridgewater 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bridgewater NJ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Bridgewater NJ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Bridgewater NJ
Selecting the right registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Bridgewater NJ.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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