How to Choose a Nursing School in Southington Connecticut
Finding the best nursing program in Southington CT may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system in Southington CT. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Southington CT with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Southington CT.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Southington CT healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Southington 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 might desire 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 offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Southington CT board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 pursue, it needs to be Southington CT approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some 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 length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every 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 additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Southington CT to make certain that the education is state approved. 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 prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Southington CT healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Southington CT and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Southington CT.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Southington 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Southington CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Southington CT clinical setting. Almost all Connecticut nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College in Southington CT
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school 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 produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Southington CT.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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