How to Enroll In a Nursing College in West Chesterfield New Hampshire
Finding the right nursing program in West Chesterfield NH may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system in West Chesterfield NH. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in West Chesterfield NH with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in West Chesterfield NH.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in West Chesterfield NH healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at West Chesterfield NH colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the West Chesterfield NH board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 West Chesterfield NH approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for West Chesterfield NH to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to 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 colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local West Chesterfield NH healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within West Chesterfield NH and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price 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 only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools in West Chesterfield NH.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New Hampshire or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional West Chesterfield NH 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the West Chesterfield NH medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a West Chesterfield NH clinical environment. Almost all New Hampshire nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School in West Chesterfield NH
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in West Chesterfield NH.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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