How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Emporium Pennsylvania
Finding the right nursing program near Emporium PA may seem like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Emporium PA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role 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 area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Emporium PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Emporium PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Pennsylvania 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 might desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Emporium PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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 change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Emporium PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Emporium PA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 Pennsylvania to make sure 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 additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Emporium PA home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive 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. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier 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, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Emporium PA as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm 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 Emporium PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as 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 Emporium PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Emporium PA 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 favorable reputation within the Emporium PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Emporium PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various 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.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Emporium PA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Emporium PA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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