How to Choose a Nursing School in Dover New Jersey
Searching for the right nursing school in Dover NJ may seem like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function 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 largest occupation in the medical delivery system in Dover NJ. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Dover NJ with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There are several degree options available 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 as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Dover NJ.
- 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 position in nursing in Dover NJ healthcare facilities such as 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) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Dover NJ colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 two 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.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Dover NJ board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Dover NJ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Dover NJ to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Dover NJ healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Dover NJ and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Dover NJ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the New Jersey school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Dover NJ 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 schools 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Dover NJ 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 Dover NJ clinical setting. Almost all New Jersey nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School in Dover NJ
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Dover NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that 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 profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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