How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Silver Spring Maryland
Selecting the best nursing college in Silver Spring MD may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role 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 largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Silver Spring MD. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Silver Spring MD with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Silver Spring MD.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Silver Spring MD healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Silver Spring MD colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Silver Spring MD board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Silver Spring 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Silver Spring MD to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Silver Spring MD healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Silver Spring MD and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools in Silver Spring MD.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Maryland school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Silver Spring MD 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 schools 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Silver Spring MD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Silver Spring MD clinical setting. Essentially all Maryland nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College in Silver Spring MD
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Silver Spring MD.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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