How to Select a Nursing School in Milton Massachusetts
Locating the right nursing college near Milton MA may feel like a complicated project, 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 obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Milton MA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Milton MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Milton MA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Milton MA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Milton MA. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Milton MA area. The length 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make sure 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 may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Milton MA home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Milton MA along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Milton MA.
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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Milton MA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Milton 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Milton MA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Milton MA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Milton MA
Selecting the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Milton MA.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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