How to Choose a Nursing College in Saxton Pennsylvania
Choosing the best nursing college in Saxton PA may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system in Saxton PA. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Saxton PA with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Saxton 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 position in nursing in Saxton PA healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Saxton 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 might 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Saxton PA board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative 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 complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Saxton 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 adequately 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Saxton PA to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Saxton PA healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Saxton PA and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Saxton 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) 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 important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent 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 companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Saxton 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Saxton PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Saxton PA clinical setting. Almost all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program in Saxton PA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Saxton PA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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