RN Nursing Programs in Lexington Park MD 20653

How to Pick a Nursing School in Lexington Park Maryland

Lexington Park MD Registered NurseFinding the right nursing school near Lexington Park MD may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Lexington Park MD healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing 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 higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 Lexington Park MD, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Lexington Park MD. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Maryland community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Lexington Park MD or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Maryland board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees

RN assisting surgeon in Lexington Park MDThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lexington Park MD. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Maryland approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Lexington Park MD area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Maryland to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as 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.

Online Nursing Classes

attending nursing school online in Lexington Park MDEnrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Maryland. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Lexington Park MD home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges

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 options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Maryland and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Lexington Park MD along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.

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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Lexington Park MD.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 imperative that the Lexington Park MD area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Visit online 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. Also, get in touch with the Maryland school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Lexington Park MD 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Lexington Park MD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.

Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Lexington Park MD area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.

Enroll in the Right RN College near Lexington Park MD

Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Lexington Park MD.

Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?

When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare several strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.

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