How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Bendersville Pennsylvania
Finding the best nursing school near Bendersville PA may feel like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Bendersville PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 Bendersville 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 Bendersville PA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Pennsylvania 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 might want 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Bendersville PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bendersville PA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bendersville PA area. The duration of the instruction 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Bendersville PA home, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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 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 work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Bendersville PA and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Bendersville PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Bendersville PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Bendersville PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Bendersville PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Bendersville PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Bendersville PA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bendersville PA.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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