How to Choose a Nursing College in Attleboro Massachusetts
Choosing the right nursing school in Attleboro MA may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure 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 proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Having said that, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Attleboro MA. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private 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 be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Attleboro MA with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Attleboro MA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Attleboro MA medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Attleboro MA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Attleboro MA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Attleboro MA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 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 every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 Attleboro MA to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates 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 colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Attleboro MA healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined 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 pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Attleboro MA and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Attleboro MA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Attleboro MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Attleboro MA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Attleboro MA clinical setting. Virtually all Massachusetts nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course in Attleboro MA
Selecting the right registered nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Attleboro MA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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