How to Pick a Nursing College in Vienna Maryland
Searching for the best nursing college near Vienna MD may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Vienna MD medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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 duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Vienna MD, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Vienna MD. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Maryland community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Vienna MD or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maryland board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Vienna MD. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Maryland approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Vienna MD area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Maryland to make certain 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 other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Maryland. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Vienna MD home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Maryland 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 already discussed, the location of the school relative to Vienna MD as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Vienna MD.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Vienna MD area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Maryland or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Maryland school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Vienna 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 looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Vienna MD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Vienna MD area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Vienna MD
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Vienna MD.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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