How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Morris Plains New Jersey
Choosing the right nursing college near Morris Plains NJ may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea 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 necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function 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 primary occupation in the Morris Plains NJ healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Morris Plains NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Morris Plains NJ. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on 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 normally a 2 year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Morris Plains NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) 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.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Morris Plains NJ. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Morris Plains NJ area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make sure that the education 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.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in New Jersey. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Morris Plains NJ home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Morris Plains NJ along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Morris Plains NJ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Morris Plains NJ area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies 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 check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Morris Plains 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Morris Plains NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Morris Plains NJ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Morris Plains NJ
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 Morris Plains NJ.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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