How to Choose a Nursing College in West Kingston Rhode Island
Selecting the best nursing college in West Kingston RI may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in West Kingston RI. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in West Kingston RI with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in West Kingston RI.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in West Kingston RI healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at West Kingston RI 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 might want to advance 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the West Kingston RI board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be West Kingston RI approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 West Kingston RI to make sure that the training 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 other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local West Kingston RI healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within West Kingston RI and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in West Kingston RI.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Rhode Island 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Rhode Island school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local West Kingston RI healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the West Kingston RI medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a West Kingston RI clinical environment. Almost all Rhode Island nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree in West Kingston RI
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in West Kingston RI.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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