How to Choose a Nursing Program in Thorofare New Jersey
Selecting the best nursing school near Thorofare NJ may seem like a challenging project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Thorofare NJ medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Thorofare NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Thorofare NJ. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 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 commonly a 2 year program offered by New Jersey community colleges. It readies 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) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 might 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Thorofare NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Thorofare NJ. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Thorofare NJ area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 Jersey to make sure 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in New Jersey. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Thorofare NJ home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Thorofare NJ and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Thorofare 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Thorofare NJ area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the New Jersey school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Thorofare NJ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Thorofare NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Thorofare NJ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Thorofare NJ
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 Thorofare NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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