How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Whiting Maine
Choosing the best nursing program in Whiting ME may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job 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 primary occupation in the medical care delivery system in Whiting ME. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Whiting ME with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 common 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 attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Whiting ME.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Whiting ME healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain 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 Whiting ME colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Whiting ME board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Whiting ME approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn 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 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Whiting 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Whiting ME healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue 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 Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Whiting ME and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Whiting ME.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at 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 too. Additionally, contact the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Whiting 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Whiting ME medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Whiting ME clinical setting. Virtually all Maine nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College in Whiting ME
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Whiting ME.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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