How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Norridgewock Maine
Searching for the right nursing program in Norridgewock ME may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Having said that, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system in Norridgewock ME. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private 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 specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Norridgewock ME with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available 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 two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Norridgewock ME.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Norridgewock ME medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Norridgewock ME colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Norridgewock ME board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Norridgewock ME approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively 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 attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to 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 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 essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Norridgewock ME to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Norridgewock ME healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Norridgewock ME and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Norridgewock ME.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Norridgewock 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 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Norridgewock ME medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Norridgewock ME clinical setting. Almost all Maine nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various 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 placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School in Norridgewock ME
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Norridgewock ME.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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