How to Find the Right Nursing School in Ardmore Pennsylvania
Choosing the best nursing school near Ardmore PA may seem like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Ardmore PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Ardmore PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Ardmore PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Pennsylvania 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 might wish 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Ardmore PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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 vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Ardmore PA. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Ardmore PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Ardmore PA home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Ardmore PA and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Ardmore PA.
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) together with 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 essential that the Ardmore PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Ardmore PA 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Ardmore PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Ardmore PA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Ardmore PA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is probably the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Ardmore PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you must prepare some approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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