How to Pick a Nursing College in Northvale New Jersey
Finding the right nursing program near Northvale NJ may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Northvale NJ medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Northvale NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Northvale NJ. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Northvale NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Northvale NJ. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly 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 earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Northvale NJ area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with 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 certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain 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 specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Northvale NJ home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Northvale NJ along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Northvale NJ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Northvale NJ area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the New Jersey school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Northvale 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Northvale NJ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Northvale 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 too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Northvale NJ
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Northvale NJ.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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