How to Choose a Nursing Program in New Milford Connecticut
Searching for the best nursing college in New Milford CT may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Having said that, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system in New Milford CT. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in New Milford CT with a higher degree may have more high level 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in New Milford CT.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in New Milford CT healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at New Milford CT 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 desire 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the New Milford CT board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option 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 finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be New Milford CT approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction 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 mandated to receive 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 amount of training directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 New Milford CT to make sure 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 can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local New Milford CT healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, 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 alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout New Milford CT and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in New Milford CT.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local New Milford CT 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the New Milford CT medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a New Milford CT clinical setting. Virtually all Connecticut nursing degree programs require a specific 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 help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree in New Milford CT
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in New Milford CT.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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