How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Old Lyme Connecticut
Finding the right nursing program near Old Lyme CT may feel like a difficult project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Old Lyme CT healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 Old Lyme CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Old Lyme CT. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Old Lyme CT or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Old Lyme CT. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn 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, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Old Lyme CT area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Connecticut. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Old Lyme CT home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Old Lyme CT as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Old Lyme CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Old Lyme CT area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Old Lyme 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied 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 Old Lyme CT medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Old Lyme CT area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Old Lyme CT
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Old Lyme CT.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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