How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Sharon Pennsylvania
Searching for the right nursing program in Sharon PA may feel like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you 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 measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Sharon PA. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Sharon PA with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Sharon PA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Sharon PA healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Sharon PA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he 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 be sure to get in touch with the Sharon PA board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Sharon PA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 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 training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Sharon 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 additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Sharon PA healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with very 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 Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Sharon PA and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Sharon PA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Sharon 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Sharon PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Sharon PA clinical environment. Virtually all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course in Sharon PA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Sharon PA.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Given that there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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