How to Find the Right Nursing School in Nazareth Pennsylvania
Locating the best nursing college in Nazareth PA may seem like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Having said that, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Nazareth PA. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Nazareth PA with a more advanced 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And 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 advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Nazareth PA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Nazareth PA medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Nazareth PA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Nazareth PA board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally 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 frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Nazareth PA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired 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, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Nazareth PA to make sure 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Nazareth PA healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Nazareth PA and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools in Nazareth PA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Nazareth 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 programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete 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 good reputation within the Nazareth PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Nazareth PA clinical setting. Essentially all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course in Nazareth PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Nazareth PA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Cities in Pennsylvania You May be Interested In