How to Pick a Nursing School in Porter Maine
Finding the right nursing college near Porter ME may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Porter ME healthcare 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 role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Porter ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Porter ME. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Maine community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Porter ME or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Porter ME. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Porter ME area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Maine to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Maine. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Porter ME home, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Porter ME along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
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. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Porter ME.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Porter ME area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Maine school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Porter 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 programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Porter ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Porter ME area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Porter ME
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick 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 registered nurse in Porter ME.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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