How to Select a Nursing Program in Kemblesville Pennsylvania
Locating the right nursing school near Kemblesville PA may seem like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Kemblesville PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Kemblesville PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Kemblesville PA. And 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six 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 preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Kemblesville PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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 change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Kemblesville PA. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 warrants that the core curriculum adequately 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kemblesville PA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Kemblesville PA home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Kemblesville PA along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Kemblesville PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Kemblesville PA area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Kemblesville 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Kemblesville PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Kemblesville PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Kemblesville PA
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Kemblesville PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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