How to Pick a Nursing College in Voluntown Connecticut
Finding the best nursing college near Voluntown CT may feel like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional things to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Voluntown CT medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Voluntown CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Voluntown CT. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Voluntown CT or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Voluntown CT. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Voluntown CT area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make sure that the training 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 other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Connecticut. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Voluntown CT home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive 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 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, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Voluntown CT along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Voluntown 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Voluntown CT area school you are attending not only provides 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 assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Voluntown 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Voluntown CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Voluntown CT area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Voluntown CT
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick 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 create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Voluntown CT.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to organize several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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