How to Choose a Nursing Program in Waterville Valley New Hampshire
Finding the best nursing college near Waterville Valley NH may feel like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Waterville Valley NH medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Waterville Valley NH, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Waterville Valley NH. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by New Hampshire community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 might desire 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 typically a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Waterville Valley NH or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Waterville Valley NH. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Waterville Valley NH area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 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 Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in New Hampshire. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Waterville Valley NH home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Waterville Valley NH and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Waterville Valley NH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Waterville Valley NH area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Waterville Valley NH healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Waterville Valley NH medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Waterville Valley 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 as well. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Waterville Valley NH
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Waterville Valley NH.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to answer them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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