How to Find the Right Nursing College in Jamison Pennsylvania
Finding the right nursing school near Jamison PA may seem like a complex endeavor, especially 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 must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional things to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Jamison PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services in Jamison PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Jamison PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically 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 utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Jamison PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Jamison PA. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Jamison PA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training is state certified. 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 Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to receive 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 number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Jamison PA home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that 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 guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Jamison PA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Jamison PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Jamison PA area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Jamison 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 programs 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Jamison PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Jamison PA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Jamison PA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Jamison PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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