How to Select a Nursing School in Kingston Massachusetts
Searching for the right nursing school near Kingston MA may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Kingston MA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Kingston MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Kingston MA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare 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) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Kingston MA or focus 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Kingston MA. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 warrants 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kingston MA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Kingston MA home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Kingston MA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Kingston MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Kingston MA area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Kingston MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish 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 Kingston MA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Kingston MA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Kingston MA
Selecting the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Kingston MA.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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