How to Select a Nursing College in Landenberg Pennsylvania
Locating the best nursing school near Landenberg PA may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional factors 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 job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Landenberg 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 duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, 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:
- Providing 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 more advanced 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 Landenberg PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Landenberg PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn 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 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Landenberg 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Landenberg PA. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, 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 alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Landenberg PA area. The length of the training program 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Landenberg PA home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Landenberg PA and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Landenberg PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Landenberg PA area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Landenberg 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 schools 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 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 favorable reputation within the Landenberg PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Landenberg PA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Landenberg PA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Landenberg PA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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