How to Choose a Nursing College in Osceola Mills Pennsylvania
Selecting the right nursing program near Osceola Mills PA may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Osceola Mills PA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Osceola Mills PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Osceola Mills PA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Osceola Mills PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Osceola Mills PA. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. 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. 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum 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 earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Osceola Mills PA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary 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 check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the education is state approved. 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Osceola Mills PA home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, 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 so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Osceola Mills PA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Osceola Mills PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Osceola Mills PA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. 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 contact some regional Osceola Mills PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 superb reputation within the Osceola Mills PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Osceola Mills PA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites 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.
Choose the Right RN Course near Osceola Mills PA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Osceola Mills PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number 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 choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Pennsylvania