How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Ridley Park Pennsylvania
Finding the best nursing program near Ridley Park PA may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Ridley Park 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 primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Ridley Park PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Ridley Park PA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Ridley Park 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Ridley Park PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ridley Park PA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Ridley Park PA home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Ridley Park PA and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Ridley Park PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Ridley Park PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Ridley Park 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Ridley Park PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Ridley Park PA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Ridley Park PA
Selecting the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Ridley Park PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private 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 primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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