How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Girard Pennsylvania
Selecting the right nursing college near Girard PA may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Girard PA medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care 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 duties of an RN may include:
- Administering 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 higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. 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 Girard PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Girard PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Girard PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Girard PA. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Girard PA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the education 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 Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Girard PA home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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 job and household obligations have left you with limited 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 Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Girard PA along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Girard PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Girard PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Girard 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 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 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 good reputation within the Girard PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Girard PA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Girard PA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Girard PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through 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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