How to Choose a Nursing Program in Huntingtown Maryland
Finding the right nursing college in Huntingtown MD may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Huntingtown MD. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering 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 Huntingtown MD with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Huntingtown MD.
- 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 Huntingtown MD 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) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Huntingtown MD 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Huntingtown MD board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Huntingtown MD approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Huntingtown MD to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to 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 Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Huntingtown MD healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Huntingtown MD and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Huntingtown MD.
- 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) as well as 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Maryland school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Huntingtown MD 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 programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Huntingtown MD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Huntingtown MD clinical setting. Almost all Maryland nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. 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 College in Huntingtown MD
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Huntingtown MD.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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