How to Choose a Nursing Program in Mc Keesport Pennsylvania
Locating the best nursing school in Mc Keesport PA may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Having said that, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in Mc Keesport PA. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact 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:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Mc Keesport PA with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Mc Keesport PA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Mc Keesport PA medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Mc Keesport PA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Mc Keesport PA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth 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 Mc Keesport PA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential 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 suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Mc Keesport PA to make certain that the training course 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 Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Mc Keesport PA healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Mc Keesport PA and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. 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 selection compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools in Mc Keesport PA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Mc Keesport PA 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 colleges 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 Mc Keesport PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Mc Keesport PA clinical environment. Almost all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates 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.
Select the Right RN Course in Mc Keesport PA
Selecting the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 licensed RN in Mc Keesport PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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