How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Mount Arlington New Jersey
Finding the right nursing program near Mount Arlington NJ may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Mount Arlington NJ medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Mount Arlington 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 Mount Arlington NJ. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies 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 eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Mount Arlington NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mount Arlington NJ. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mount Arlington NJ area. The length of the instruction 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 required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in New Jersey. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Mount Arlington NJ home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Mount Arlington NJ along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Mount Arlington 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Mount Arlington NJ area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the New Jersey school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Mount Arlington 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Mount Arlington NJ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Mount Arlington 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 as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Mount Arlington NJ
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Mount Arlington NJ.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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