How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Orrington Maine
Locating the right nursing college near Orrington ME may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Orrington ME healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care 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 few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Orrington ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Orrington ME. 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 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Maine community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Maine 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 desire 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Orrington ME or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Orrington ME. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth 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 Maine 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Orrington ME area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Maine to make certain that the training course is state approved. 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 Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Maine. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Orrington ME home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Orrington ME along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Orrington ME.
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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Orrington ME area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Orrington ME 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 schools you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Orrington ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Orrington ME area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Orrington ME
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Orrington ME.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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