How to Pick a Nursing College in Bloomfield New Mexico
Choosing the best nursing school near Bloomfield NM may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bloomfield NM medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Bloomfield NM, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Bloomfield NM. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by New Mexico community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at New Mexico colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bloomfield NM or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he 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 don’t forget to check with the New Mexico board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bloomfield NM. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 Mexico approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bloomfield NM area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for New Mexico to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in New Mexico. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Bloomfield NM home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Mexico and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Bloomfield NM as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
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. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Bloomfield NM.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bloomfield NM area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New Mexico or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the New Mexico school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Bloomfield NM 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bloomfield NM healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Bloomfield NM area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Bloomfield NM
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bloomfield NM.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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