How to Pick a Nursing School in Trumbull Connecticut
Choosing the best nursing program in Trumbull CT may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system in Trumbull CT. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid 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 as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Trumbull CT with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
There are several degree options offered 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 as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Trumbull CT.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Trumbull CT medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Trumbull CT colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Trumbull CT board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 Trumbull CT approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Trumbull CT to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Trumbull CT healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Trumbull CT and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably 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 final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in Trumbull CT.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific 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 provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Trumbull 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Trumbull CT medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Trumbull CT clinical setting. Virtually all Connecticut nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Trumbull CT
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 nurse in Trumbull CT.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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