How to Choose a Nursing College in Somers Point New Jersey
Searching for the right nursing college in Somers Point NJ may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in Somers Point NJ. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Somers Point NJ with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Somers Point NJ.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Somers Point NJ healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Somers Point NJ 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 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Somers Point NJ board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Somers Point NJ approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program 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 obtain 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 minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Somers Point NJ to make sure 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 may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Somers Point NJ healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some 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 reduced, 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 job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Somers Point 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 pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Somers Point NJ.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 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 provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey 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 agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the New Jersey school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Somers Point NJ 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Somers Point NJ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Somers Point NJ clinical environment. Essentially all New Jersey nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College in Somers Point NJ
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Somers Point NJ.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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