How to Select a Nursing School in Mount Holly New Jersey
Locating the right nursing program near Mount Holly NJ may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Mount Holly NJ healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Mount Holly NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Mount Holly NJ. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at New Jersey 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Mount Holly NJ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mount Holly NJ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mount Holly NJ area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in New Jersey. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Mount Holly NJ home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Mount Holly NJ along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. 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 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Mount Holly NJ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Mount Holly NJ area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the New Jersey school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Mount Holly NJ 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 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 dissatisfied 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 Mount Holly NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Mount Holly NJ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Mount Holly NJ
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Mount Holly NJ.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must ready a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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