How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Mount Laurel New Jersey
Selecting the right nursing program near Mount Laurel NJ may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Mount Laurel NJ healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Mount Laurel 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 Laurel NJ. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Mount Laurel NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mount Laurel NJ. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mount Laurel NJ area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make sure that the education is state approved. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in New Jersey. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Mount Laurel NJ home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Mount Laurel NJ as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Mount Laurel NJ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Mount Laurel NJ area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the New Jersey school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Mount Laurel NJ 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Mount Laurel NJ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Mount Laurel 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. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Mount Laurel NJ
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Mount Laurel NJ.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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