How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Bath Pennsylvania
Finding the best nursing program near Bath PA may feel like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bath PA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Bath PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Bath PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn 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 want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bath PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bath PA. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 warrants that the syllabus 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bath PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Bath PA home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Bath PA as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
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. Besides helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Bath PA.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Bath PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Bath 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bath PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Bath PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Bath PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Bath PA.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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