How to Pick a Nursing School in Berlin New Hampshire
Choosing the right nursing program near Berlin NH may seem like a formidable endeavor, 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 receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Berlin NH medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support 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 in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Berlin NH, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Berlin NH. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by New Hampshire community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at New Hampshire colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Berlin NH or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Berlin NH. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 New Hampshire approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately 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 training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Berlin NH area. The length of the training program 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for New Hampshire to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in New Hampshire. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Berlin NH home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Berlin NH as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors 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 compares to the field.
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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Berlin NH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Berlin NH area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for New Hampshire or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Berlin NH 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 considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Berlin NH medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Berlin NH area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Berlin NH
Selecting the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each 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 pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Berlin NH.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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