How to Pick a Nursing School in Springfield Vermont
Finding the best nursing program in Springfield VT may feel like a difficult project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Springfield VT. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Springfield VT 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide 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 as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Springfield VT.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Springfield VT healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Springfield VT colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 usually 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.
After a graduating student has earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Springfield VT board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Springfield VT approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum 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 need 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 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Springfield VT to make certain that the training 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Springfield VT healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Springfield VT and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Springfield VT.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Vermont or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Vermont school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Springfield VT 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 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Springfield VT medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Springfield VT clinical setting. Essentially all Vermont nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College in Springfield VT
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is critical that you select 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 shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Springfield VT.
Why Did You Want to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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