How to Choose a Nursing Program in Thorndike Maine
Locating the right nursing school near Thorndike ME may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Thorndike ME healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Thorndike ME, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Thorndike ME. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Maine community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Maine colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Thorndike ME or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Thorndike ME. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Thorndike ME area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course 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 certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Maine. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Thorndike ME home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Thorndike ME along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Thorndike 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Thorndike ME area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Thorndike ME 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 schools you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Thorndike ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Thorndike ME area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Thorndike ME
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is arguably the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Thorndike ME.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready several approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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