How to Select a Nursing School in Winterport Maine
Choosing the best nursing school in Winterport ME may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system in Winterport ME. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Winterport ME with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Winterport ME.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Winterport ME medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Winterport 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 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Winterport ME board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Winterport ME approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Winterport ME to make certain that the education is state certified. 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Winterport ME healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Winterport ME and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools in Winterport 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Winterport 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Winterport ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Winterport ME clinical environment. Essentially all Maine nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course in Winterport ME
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Winterport ME.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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