How to Pick a Nursing Program in Patton Pennsylvania
Locating the best nursing school near Patton PA may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know 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 in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program 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 key additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Patton PA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Patton PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Patton PA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Patton PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received 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 don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Patton PA. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Patton PA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Patton PA home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start 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 important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Patton PA as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
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 assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Patton PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Patton PA area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, 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 Patton 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 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 Patton PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Patton PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Patton PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Patton PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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