How to Choose a Nursing Program in Womelsdorf Pennsylvania
Finding the right nursing college in Womelsdorf PA may feel like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Having said that, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with 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 Womelsdorf PA. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Womelsdorf PA with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Womelsdorf PA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Womelsdorf PA healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Womelsdorf PA colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 obtaining 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 earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Womelsdorf PA board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN 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 finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 Womelsdorf PA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training 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 just one 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Womelsdorf PA to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Womelsdorf PA healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Womelsdorf PA and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Womelsdorf PA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Womelsdorf 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 programs 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Womelsdorf PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Womelsdorf PA clinical setting. Virtually all Pennsylvania nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Womelsdorf PA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, 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 list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Womelsdorf PA.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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