How to Select a Nursing School in Winchester New Hampshire
Choosing the best nursing program near Winchester NH may seem like a complicated 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 must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Winchester NH medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Winchester NH, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Winchester NH. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions 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 preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at New Hampshire colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Winchester NH or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Winchester NH. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be New Hampshire approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Winchester NH area. The length of the training 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 receive 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 amount of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in New Hampshire. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Winchester NH home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Winchester NH as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Winchester NH.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Winchester NH area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Winchester 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 colleges 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Winchester NH medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Winchester NH area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Winchester NH
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Winchester NH.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in New Hampshire