How to Find the Right Nursing College in Dedham Massachusetts
Searching for the best nursing college near Dedham MA may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Dedham MA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 Dedham MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Dedham MA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by Massachusetts 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 afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Massachusetts 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 might 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Dedham MA 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Dedham MA. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering 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 seek, it should be Massachusetts approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dedham MA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its own 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 check with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Dedham MA home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Dedham MA along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Dedham MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Dedham MA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Dedham 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Dedham MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Dedham MA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Dedham MA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Dedham MA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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