How to Choose a Nursing Program in Pleasantville Pennsylvania
Selecting the right nursing college near Pleasantville PA may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must 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 thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Pleasantville PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Pleasantville PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Pleasantville PA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pleasantville 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pleasantville PA. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some 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 Pleasantville PA area. The length of the training program 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise 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 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Pleasantville PA home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Pleasantville PA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Pleasantville PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Pleasantville PA area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Pleasantville 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 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 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 good reputation within the Pleasantville PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Pleasantville 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 also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Pleasantville PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using 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 right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Pleasantville PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some approaches about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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