How to Select a Nursing Program in Harrington Park New Jersey
Locating the best nursing college near Harrington Park NJ may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already 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 critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Harrington Park NJ healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Harrington Park NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Harrington Park NJ. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by New Jersey community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 Harrington Park NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Harrington Park NJ. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Harrington Park NJ area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure 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 check with the health or nursing board for New Jersey 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 other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in New Jersey. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Harrington Park NJ home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional 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. So if your work and family obligations 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 active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Harrington Park NJ as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Harrington Park NJ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Harrington Park NJ area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, 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 Harrington Park 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Harrington Park NJ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Harrington Park NJ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Harrington Park NJ
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select an RN school 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 pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Harrington Park NJ.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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