How to Pick a Nursing Program in Long Island City New York
Selecting the right nursing program near Long Island City NY may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Long Island City NY healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Long Island City NY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Long Island City NY. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by New York community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at New York colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Long Island City NY or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the New York board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Long Island City NY. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with 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 York approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Long Island City NY area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 period of instruction directed and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for New York to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to 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 Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in New York. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Long Island City NY home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined 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 pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New York and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Long Island City NY as well as 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to 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 confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Long Island City NY.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) in addition to 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 Long Island City NY area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New York or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the New York school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Long Island City NY 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 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Long Island City NY medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist 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 Island City NY area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Long Island City NY
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school 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 develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Long Island City NY.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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