How to Pick a Nursing School in Hooksett New Hampshire
Selecting the best nursing college near Hooksett NH may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Hooksett NH medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific 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
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Hooksett NH, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Hooksett NH. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve 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 commonly a 2 year program made available by New Hampshire community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at New Hampshire colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Hooksett NH or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Hooksett NH. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be New Hampshire approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly 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 education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hooksett NH area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to 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 requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the 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 check with the health or nursing board for New Hampshire to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with 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 Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get 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 specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Hooksett NH home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Hampshire and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Hooksett NH as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, 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 other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Hooksett NH.
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) together with 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 Hooksett NH area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Hooksett NH 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Hooksett 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. Almost all Hooksett NH area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Hooksett NH
Selecting the right registered nursing program is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Hooksett NH.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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