How to Pick a Nursing School in West Falls New York
Selecting the best nursing program in West Falls NY may feel like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in West Falls NY. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in West Falls NY with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in West Falls NY.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in West Falls NY healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at West Falls NY colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the West Falls NY board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 should be West Falls NY approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for West Falls NY to make certain that the education is state approved. 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
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local West Falls NY healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout West Falls NY and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in West Falls NY.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for New York or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the New York school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional West Falls NY 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 programs you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the West Falls NY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a West Falls NY clinical setting. Virtually all New York nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. 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 College in West Falls NY
Selecting the right registered nursing program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in West Falls NY.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you want to address them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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