How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in New Oxford Pennsylvania
Locating the best nursing program near New Oxford PA may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the New Oxford PA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in New Oxford PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in New Oxford PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 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 usually a two year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 want 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in New Oxford PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in New Oxford PA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn 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 providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the New Oxford PA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your New Oxford PA home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to New Oxford PA as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near New Oxford PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the New Oxford PA area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional New Oxford 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 good reputation within the New Oxford PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all New Oxford PA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near New Oxford PA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in New Oxford PA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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