How to Pick a Nursing School in Millersville Pennsylvania
Choosing the right nursing college near Millersville PA may seem like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Millersville PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Millersville PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Millersville 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 just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain 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 allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Millersville PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Millersville PA. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Millersville PA area. The length of the instruction 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Millersville PA home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Millersville PA along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Millersville 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Millersville PA area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Millersville 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Millersville PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Millersville PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Millersville PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Millersville PA.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests 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 a response, but write down some ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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