How to Choose a Nursing College in Mount Desert Maine
Locating the best nursing college in Mount Desert ME may feel like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Mount Desert ME. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Mount Desert ME with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Mount Desert ME.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Mount Desert ME healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Mount Desert ME 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Mount Desert ME board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Mount Desert ME approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired 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, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Mount Desert ME to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Mount Desert ME healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Mount Desert ME and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost 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 only qualifiers. So prior to 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Mount Desert ME.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Mount Desert 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 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 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 Mount Desert ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Mount Desert ME clinical setting. Essentially all Maine nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program in Mount Desert ME
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Mount Desert ME.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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