How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Mahanoy City Pennsylvania
Searching for the best nursing school near Mahanoy City PA may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Mahanoy City PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Mahanoy City PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Mahanoy City PA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn 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 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 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 example to become a nurse practitioner in Mahanoy City PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mahanoy City PA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mahanoy City PA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Mahanoy City PA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and 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 numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Mahanoy City PA as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Mahanoy City PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to 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 important that the Mahanoy City PA area school you are attending 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. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Mahanoy City 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 favorable reputation within the Mahanoy City PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Mahanoy City PA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Mahanoy City PA
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Mahanoy City PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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