How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Centerbrook Connecticut
Locating the best nursing program near Centerbrook CT may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional things to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Centerbrook CT medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Centerbrook CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Centerbrook CT. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Connecticut 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 desire 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Centerbrook CT or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Centerbrook CT. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus 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 some 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 in the Centerbrook CT area. The length of the instruction 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make sure that the training course 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Connecticut. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Centerbrook CT home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Centerbrook CT and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Centerbrook CT.
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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Centerbrook CT area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Centerbrook CT 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 programs you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Centerbrook CT medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Centerbrook CT area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Centerbrook CT
Choosing the right registered nursing program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 Centerbrook CT.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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