How to Choose a Nursing College in Havertown Pennsylvania
Finding the right nursing program near Havertown PA may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Havertown PA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Havertown PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Havertown PA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Havertown PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Havertown PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering 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 seek, it should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Havertown PA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 certain 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Havertown PA home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Havertown PA along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Havertown 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) together 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 essential that the Havertown PA area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Havertown 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Havertown PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Havertown PA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Havertown PA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Havertown PA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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