How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Neptune New Jersey
Choosing the right nursing program near Neptune NJ may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know 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 vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Neptune NJ medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Neptune NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Neptune NJ. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 wish 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Neptune NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change 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 principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Neptune NJ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the course of study properly 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Neptune NJ area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in New Jersey. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Neptune NJ home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Neptune NJ as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Neptune NJ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Neptune NJ area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services 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, check with the New Jersey school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Neptune 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 colleges you are looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Neptune NJ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Neptune NJ area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Neptune NJ
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each 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 choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Neptune NJ.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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