How to Pick a Nursing Program in Hudson New Hampshire
Locating the right nursing college near Hudson NH may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Hudson NH healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Hudson NH, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Hudson NH. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by New Hampshire community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at New Hampshire colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Hudson NH or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Hudson NH. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 any 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hudson NH area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for New Hampshire to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in New Hampshire. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Hudson NH home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Hampshire and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Hudson NH as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Hudson NH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Hudson NH area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for New Hampshire 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 as well. Also, contact the New Hampshire school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Hudson 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hudson NH medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Hudson NH area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Hudson NH
Choosing the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you choose 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 develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hudson NH.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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