How to Select a Nursing School in Baden Pennsylvania
Finding the right nursing college near Baden PA may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Baden PA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Baden PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Baden 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six 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 Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania 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 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 normally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Baden PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Baden PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Baden PA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Baden PA home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Baden PA along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure 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 Baden PA.
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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Baden PA area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Baden 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Baden PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Baden PA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Baden PA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Baden PA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize some approaches about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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