How to Pick a Nursing School in Altamont New York
Selecting the right nursing school near Altamont NY may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Altamont NY healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Altamont NY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Altamont NY. 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 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 normally a two year program offered by New York community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at New York colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Altamont NY or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the New York board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Altamont NY. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing 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 York 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Altamont NY area. The length of the training program 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 have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for New York 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in New York. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Altamont NY home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within New York and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Altamont NY and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Altamont NY.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Altamont NY area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New York or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the New York school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Altamont NY 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 programs you are considering 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 unhappy 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 Altamont NY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Altamont NY area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Altamont NY
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an RN school 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 create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Altamont NY.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some ideas about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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