How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Cedar Crest New Mexico
Finding the best nursing college near Cedar Crest NM may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training 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 ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future 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 nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Cedar Crest NM healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Cedar Crest NM, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Cedar Crest 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by New Mexico community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at New Mexico 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 may desire 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Cedar Crest 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the New Mexico board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Cedar Crest NM. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be New Mexico approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cedar Crest NM area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential 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 Mexico to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in New Mexico. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Cedar Crest NM home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Mexico and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Cedar Crest NM along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Cedar Crest NM.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Cedar Crest NM area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Mexico or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the New Mexico school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Cedar Crest NM 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Cedar Crest NM medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Cedar Crest NM area nursing degree programs require a certain 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.
Pick the Right RN Program near Cedar Crest NM
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Cedar Crest NM.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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