How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Bethel Pennsylvania
Finding the best nursing school near Bethel PA may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Bethel 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 aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Bethel PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Bethel PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including 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) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Bethel 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bethel PA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly 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 obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bethel PA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 education 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 additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified 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 Bethel PA home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Bethel PA as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Bethel PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Bethel PA area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Bethel 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 finish 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bethel PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Bethel PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Bethel PA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Bethel PA.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some ideas about how you would like to answer them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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