How to Select a Nursing Program in Friedens Pennsylvania
Locating the best nursing school near Friedens PA may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Friedens PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Friedens PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Friedens PA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Pennsylvania 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 want to progress 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Friedens PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Friedens PA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain 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 supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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 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 Friedens PA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to 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 Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Friedens PA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Friedens PA and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Friedens PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Friedens PA area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Friedens 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 colleges 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 displeased 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 Friedens PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Friedens PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Friedens PA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 Friedens PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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