How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Kimberton Pennsylvania
Finding the right nursing college near Kimberton PA may feel like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already 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 essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Kimberton PA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Kimberton PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Kimberton PA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain 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 commonly a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Kimberton PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Kimberton PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kimberton PA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Kimberton PA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Kimberton PA as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Kimberton PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Kimberton PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Kimberton PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 complete 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Kimberton PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Kimberton PA 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 nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Kimberton PA
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Kimberton PA.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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