How to Select a Nursing School in Flourtown Pennsylvania
Finding the best nursing college near Flourtown PA may feel like a complicated endeavor, 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 must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Flourtown PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Flourtown PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Flourtown PA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 may 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Flourtown PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Flourtown PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Flourtown PA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure 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
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Flourtown PA home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Flourtown PA and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Flourtown 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Flourtown PA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Flourtown 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 colleges 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 displeased 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 superb reputation within the Flourtown PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Flourtown PA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Flourtown PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Flourtown PA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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