How to Choose a Nursing Program in Shelton Connecticut
Locating the best nursing school in Shelton CT may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Having said that, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system in Shelton CT. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Shelton CT 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 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.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 in Shelton CT.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Shelton CT healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Shelton CT colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Shelton CT board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Shelton 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have 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 three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Shelton CT 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 prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Shelton CT healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Shelton CT and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Shelton CT.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Shelton CT 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 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 displeased 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 Shelton 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 Shelton CT clinical environment. Almost all Connecticut nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program in Shelton CT
Picking the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose 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 practicing nurse in Shelton CT.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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