How to Pick a Nursing College in Willingboro New Jersey
Searching for the best nursing college near Willingboro NJ may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Willingboro NJ medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including 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 depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 Willingboro NJ, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Willingboro NJ. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally 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 use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Willingboro NJ or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. 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.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Willingboro NJ. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, 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 attests that the syllabus properly 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Willingboro NJ area. The length of the training 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for New Jersey to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in New Jersey. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Willingboro NJ home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Willingboro NJ as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Willingboro NJ.
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) together with 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 essential that the Willingboro NJ area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the New Jersey school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Willingboro 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Willingboro NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Willingboro NJ area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Willingboro NJ
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Willingboro NJ.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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