How to Find the Right Nursing School in Lebanon Maine
Locating the best nursing college in Lebanon ME may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure 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 proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system in Lebanon ME. 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 help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Lebanon ME with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Lebanon ME.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Lebanon ME healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Lebanon ME 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Lebanon ME board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second 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, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Lebanon ME approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education 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. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Lebanon ME to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Lebanon ME healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Lebanon ME and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Lebanon ME.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Maine school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Lebanon ME 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 schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Lebanon ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Lebanon ME clinical environment. Essentially all Maine nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College in Lebanon ME
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lebanon ME.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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