How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Conshohocken Pennsylvania
Selecting the best nursing college near Conshohocken PA may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Conshohocken PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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 complex 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Conshohocken 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 Conshohocken PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 wish 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Conshohocken PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Conshohocken PA. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 kind 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 warrants that the course of study effectively 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Conshohocken PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Conshohocken PA home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, 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 to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Conshohocken PA along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors 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 pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Conshohocken PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Conshohocken PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Conshohocken 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Conshohocken PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Conshohocken PA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Conshohocken PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Conshohocken PA.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters often ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several ideas about how you would like to address them. Since there are so many variables 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 in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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