How to Find the Right Nursing School in West Dennis Massachusetts
Locating the best nursing school near West Dennis MA may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the West Dennis MA medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in West Dennis MA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in West Dennis 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including 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) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in West Dennis MA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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 vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in West Dennis MA. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the West Dennis MA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Massachusetts to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Massachusetts. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your West Dennis MA home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more 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. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, 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 choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to West Dennis MA as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, 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 schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near West Dennis MA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the West Dennis MA area school you are enrolled in 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 online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional West Dennis 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the West Dennis MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all West Dennis MA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near West Dennis MA
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in West Dennis MA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Massachusetts