How to Choose a Nursing College in Bigler Pennsylvania
Selecting the right nursing college in Bigler PA may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system in Bigler PA. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some 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
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Bigler PA with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Bigler PA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Bigler PA healthcare facilities including 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) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Bigler PA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Bigler PA board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Bigler PA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in 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 period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Bigler PA to make sure 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Bigler PA healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Bigler PA and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Bigler PA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Bigler PA 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bigler PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Bigler PA clinical environment. Essentially all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course in Bigler PA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bigler PA.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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