How to Select a Nursing College in New Tripoli Pennsylvania
Selecting the right nursing program near New Tripoli PA may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the New Tripoli PA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in New Tripoli PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in New Tripoli 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 advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 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 prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including 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) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in New Tripoli PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in New Tripoli PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering 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 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the New Tripoli PA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your New Tripoli PA home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more 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 obligations have left you with limited 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to New Tripoli PA and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near New Tripoli PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the New Tripoli PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby New Tripoli 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 finish 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the New Tripoli 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. Virtually all New Tripoli PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near New Tripoli PA
Picking the right registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in New Tripoli PA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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