How to Choose a Nursing School in East Providence Rhode Island
Searching for the best nursing college in East Providence RI may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know 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 obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system in East Providence RI. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in East Providence RI with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, 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. 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in East Providence RI.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in East Providence RI healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at East Providence RI colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the East Providence RI board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other 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, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be East Providence RI approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for East Providence RI to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local East Providence RI healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout East Providence RI and the United States. So it is important to decrease 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 and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in East Providence RI.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Rhode Island or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Rhode Island school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional East Providence RI 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 colleges 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the East Providence RI medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a East Providence RI clinical setting. Virtually all Rhode Island nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School in East Providence RI
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in East Providence RI.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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