How to Pick a Nursing School in Spring House Pennsylvania
Choosing the best nursing college in Spring House PA may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Spring House PA. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Spring House PA with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 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 two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Spring House PA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Spring House PA medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Spring House PA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 two year program after achieving 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 received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Spring House PA board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 Spring House PA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need 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 instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Spring House PA to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Spring House PA healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Spring House PA and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Spring House PA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specific 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 exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Spring House 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 colleges you are considering 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Spring House PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Spring House PA clinical setting. Almost all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course in Spring House PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Spring House PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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