How to Select a Nursing College in Linden New Jersey
Finding the best nursing school near Linden NJ may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Linden NJ medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Linden NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Linden 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 two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by New Jersey community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually 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 may want 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Linden NJ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Linden NJ. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Linden NJ area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimal amount of training 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 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 Jersey to make sure 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in New Jersey. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Linden NJ home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Linden NJ along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
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. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Linden NJ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Linden NJ area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the New Jersey school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Linden NJ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Linden NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Linden NJ area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Linden NJ
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Linden NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready several strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in New Jersey