How to Choose a Nursing School in Collinsville Connecticut
Choosing the right nursing college near Collinsville CT may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Collinsville CT medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Collinsville CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Collinsville CT. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Collinsville CT or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Collinsville CT. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Collinsville CT area. The duration of the instruction 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Connecticut. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Collinsville CT home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Collinsville CT as well as the cost of tuition are probably 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 ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Collinsville CT.
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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Collinsville CT area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Collinsville CT 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 schools 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 favorable reputation within the Collinsville CT medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Collinsville CT area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Collinsville CT
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 practicing nurse in Collinsville CT.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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