How to Pick a Nursing School in Benton Pennsylvania
Finding the right nursing school near Benton PA may seem like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Benton PA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent 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
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Benton PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Benton PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Benton PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Benton PA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 effectively 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 instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Benton PA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Benton PA home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Benton PA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Benton 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Benton PA area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Benton PA 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 programs you are looking at 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 unhappy 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 Benton PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Benton PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Benton PA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Benton PA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must organize several approaches about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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