How to Pick a Nursing School in Mount Pleasant Pennsylvania
Searching for the right nursing program near Mount Pleasant PA may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Mount Pleasant PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Mount Pleasant PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Mount Pleasant PA. And 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 advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 may want 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Mount Pleasant PA or focus 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mount Pleasant PA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
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 Mount Pleasant PA area. The length of the training 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 have 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 directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Mount Pleasant PA home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Mount Pleasant PA as well as the cost 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Mount Pleasant PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Mount Pleasant PA area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Mount Pleasant 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 schools 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Mount Pleasant PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Mount Pleasant 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 as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN School near Mount Pleasant PA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Mount Pleasant PA.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must prepare some ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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