How to Choose a Nursing School in Rutherford New Jersey
Locating the best nursing school near Rutherford NJ may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Rutherford NJ medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Rutherford NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Rutherford NJ. 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by New Jersey community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Rutherford NJ or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate 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 basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Rutherford NJ. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Rutherford NJ area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain 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 check with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in New Jersey. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Rutherford NJ home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Rutherford NJ as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
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. In addition to helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Rutherford NJ.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Rutherford NJ area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the New Jersey school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Rutherford 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 colleges you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Rutherford NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Rutherford NJ area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Rutherford NJ
Selecting the right registered nursing college is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Rutherford NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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