How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Edinboro Pennsylvania
Choosing the best nursing school near Edinboro PA may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Edinboro PA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Edinboro PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Edinboro PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain 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 generally a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Edinboro PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Edinboro PA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Edinboro PA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Edinboro PA home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Edinboro PA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
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. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Edinboro PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 essential that the Edinboro PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Edinboro PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Edinboro PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Edinboro PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Edinboro PA
Picking the right registered nursing college is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Edinboro PA.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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