How to Find the Right Nursing School in Peckville Pennsylvania
Selecting the best nursing school in Peckville PA may seem like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system in Peckville PA. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Peckville PA with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Peckville PA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Peckville PA healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Peckville PA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Peckville PA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Peckville PA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Peckville PA to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Peckville PA healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Peckville PA and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools in Peckville 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Peckville 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Peckville PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Peckville PA clinical setting. Almost all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates 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 School in Peckville PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care field. 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 current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Peckville PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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