How to Find the Right Nursing School in Syracuse New York
Locating the best nursing program near Syracuse NY may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing 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 a number of crucial additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Syracuse NY healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 Syracuse NY, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Syracuse NY. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain 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 2 year program offered by New York community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at New York colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Syracuse NY or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the New York board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Syracuse NY. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be New York approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Syracuse NY area. The length of the instruction 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 York to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in New York. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Syracuse NY home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job 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.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within New York and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school relative to Syracuse NY as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Syracuse NY.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Syracuse NY area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New York or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the New York school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Syracuse 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 colleges you are considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Syracuse NY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Syracuse NY area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Syracuse NY
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Syracuse NY.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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