How to Select a Nursing College in Monson Massachusetts
Selecting the right nursing college near Monson MA may feel like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to look into before you decide where to enroll in 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 options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Monson MA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Monson MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Monson 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Massachusetts community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Monson MA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Monson MA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Monson MA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Monson MA home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Monson MA and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Monson MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Monson MA area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Monson MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Monson MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Monson MA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of 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 assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Monson MA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Monson MA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must prepare several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Massachusetts