How to Choose a Nursing School in Montrose Pennsylvania
Locating the right nursing program near Montrose PA may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Montrose PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family 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 in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Montrose PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Montrose PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately 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 four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Montrose PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Montrose PA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Montrose PA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Montrose PA home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like 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 pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Montrose PA and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Montrose PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Montrose PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Montrose PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Montrose PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Montrose PA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Montrose PA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Montrose PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you should organize several strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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