How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Pawcatuck Connecticut
Searching for the right nursing school in Pawcatuck CT may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly 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 need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional things to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system in Pawcatuck CT. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Pawcatuck CT 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Pawcatuck CT.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Pawcatuck CT healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Pawcatuck CT colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Pawcatuck CT board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Pawcatuck CT approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to 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. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Pawcatuck CT to make sure that the training 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 can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Pawcatuck CT healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Pawcatuck CT and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Pawcatuck CT.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Pawcatuck 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 programs you are considering 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Pawcatuck CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Pawcatuck CT clinical setting. Essentially all Connecticut nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School in Pawcatuck CT
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Pawcatuck CT.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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