How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Breinigsville Pennsylvania
Locating the best nursing college near Breinigsville PA may seem like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school 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 proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Breinigsville PA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Breinigsville PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Breinigsville PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Breinigsville PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Breinigsville PA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering 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 pursue, it needs to 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Breinigsville PA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Breinigsville PA home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Breinigsville PA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Breinigsville PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Breinigsville PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at 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 also. Also, 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 regional Breinigsville 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Breinigsville PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Breinigsville PA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Breinigsville PA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Breinigsville PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Because there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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