How to Select a Nursing College in Schnecksville Pennsylvania
Locating the best nursing program in Schnecksville PA may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Having said that, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system in Schnecksville PA. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function 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 in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Schnecksville PA with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 offered 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Schnecksville PA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Schnecksville PA healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Schnecksville PA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Schnecksville PA board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Schnecksville PA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Schnecksville PA to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Schnecksville PA healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more 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 little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Schnecksville PA and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Schnecksville PA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Schnecksville PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Schnecksville PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Schnecksville PA clinical setting. Almost all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out 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 Course in Schnecksville PA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Schnecksville PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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