How to Choose a Nursing School in Long Beach New York
Choosing the right nursing college near Long Beach NY may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Long Beach NY medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment 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:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Long Beach NY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Long Beach NY. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by New York community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at New York colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Long Beach NY or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the New York board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Long Beach NY. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be New York approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study 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 education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Long Beach NY area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for New York to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in New York. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Long Beach NY home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within New York and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Long Beach NY along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Long Beach NY.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Long Beach NY area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New York or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the New York school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Long Beach NY 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Long Beach NY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Long Beach NY area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Long Beach NY
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Long Beach NY.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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