How to Choose a Nursing College in Centerville Massachusetts
Locating the right nursing school near Centerville MA may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to investigate before you decide 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 system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Centerville MA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties 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
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Centerville MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Centerville MA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Centerville MA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Centerville MA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Massachusetts approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Centerville MA area. The length of the instruction 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the education 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Centerville MA home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Centerville MA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Centerville MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Centerville MA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Centerville MA 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 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 Centerville MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Centerville MA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Centerville MA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Centerville MA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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