How to Select a Nursing College in Keene New Hampshire
Choosing the best nursing college near Keene NH may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Keene NH medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Keene NH, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Keene NH. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn 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 usually a 2 year program made available by New Hampshire community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides 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 eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Keene NH or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Keene NH. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain 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, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Keene NH area. The length 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 obtain 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 required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for New Hampshire to make sure 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 might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in New Hampshire. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Keene NH home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Keene NH as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Keene NH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Keene NH area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New Hampshire or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Keene 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 colleges you are considering 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 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 good reputation within the Keene NH medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Keene NH area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Keene NH
Choosing the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Keene NH.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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