How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Newtown Square Pennsylvania
Selecting the right nursing school in Newtown Square PA may feel like a difficult project, especially 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 must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Newtown Square PA. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular 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
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Newtown Square PA with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive 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 short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Newtown Square PA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Newtown Square PA medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Newtown Square PA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Newtown Square PA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations available 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 second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Newtown Square PA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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 minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Newtown Square PA to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Newtown Square PA healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Newtown Square PA and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in Newtown Square PA.
- 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Newtown Square 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Newtown Square PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Newtown Square PA clinical environment. Essentially all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course in Newtown Square PA
Selecting the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Newtown Square PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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