How to Select a Nursing School in Waterford Connecticut
Finding the right nursing college near Waterford CT may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional things to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Waterford CT medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment 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. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Waterford CT, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Waterford CT. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain 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 normally a two year program offered by Connecticut community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Waterford CT or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Waterford CT. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Waterford CT area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Connecticut to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Connecticut. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Waterford CT home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Waterford CT as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
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. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Waterford CT.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Waterford CT area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Waterford CT healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Waterford CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Waterford CT area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Waterford CT
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both 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 select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Waterford CT.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer 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 abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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