How to Choose a Nursing Program in Edgartown Massachusetts
Choosing the best nursing school in Edgartown MA may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, 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 evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Edgartown MA. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Edgartown MA with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Edgartown MA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Edgartown MA healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Edgartown MA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Edgartown MA board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Edgartown MA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Edgartown MA to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Edgartown MA healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Edgartown MA and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in Edgartown MA.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Edgartown MA 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Edgartown MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Edgartown MA clinical environment. Almost all Massachusetts nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Edgartown MA
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in 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 checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Edgartown MA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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