How to Select a Nursing School in Kent Connecticut
Searching for the right nursing program near Kent CT may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program 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 crucial additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Kent CT medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, 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:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services in Kent CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Kent 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It preps 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 later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Kent 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Kent CT. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Connecticut 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 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 obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kent CT area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Connecticut. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Kent CT home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Kent CT along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Kent CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Kent CT area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Kent 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Kent CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Kent CT area nursing degree programs require a certain 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 community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Kent CT
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Kent CT.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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