How to Choose a Nursing College in Lincolnville Maine
Finding the best nursing college in Lincolnville ME may feel like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to investigate 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 health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system in Lincolnville ME. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Lincolnville ME with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Lincolnville ME.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Lincolnville ME healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher 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 Lincolnville ME colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Lincolnville ME board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Lincolnville ME approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired 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, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Lincolnville ME to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and earn 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 carried out in a local Lincolnville ME healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many 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 economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Lincolnville ME and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Lincolnville ME.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Lincolnville ME healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Lincolnville ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Lincolnville ME clinical environment. Essentially all Maine nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School in Lincolnville ME
Choosing the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Lincolnville ME.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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