How to Select a Nursing School in Mount Laurel New Jersey
Locating the right nursing college in Mount Laurel NJ may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system in Mount Laurel NJ. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Mount Laurel NJ with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Mount Laurel NJ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Mount Laurel NJ medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Mount Laurel NJ colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Mount Laurel NJ board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 kind of credential you seek, it should be Mount Laurel NJ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some 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.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the 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 Mount Laurel NJ to make certain that the education is state certified. 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
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Mount Laurel NJ healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Mount Laurel NJ and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Mount Laurel NJ.
- 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the New Jersey school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Mount Laurel NJ 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Mount Laurel NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Mount Laurel NJ clinical setting. Virtually all New Jersey nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College in Mount Laurel NJ
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Mount Laurel NJ.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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