How to Pick a Nursing College in Rebuck Pennsylvania
Finding the best nursing school near Rebuck PA may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Rebuck PA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Rebuck PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Rebuck 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 two years, or continue on to attain 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 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 wish 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 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Rebuck PA or focus 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Rebuck PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish 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 guarantees 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Rebuck PA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Rebuck PA home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of 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 manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Rebuck PA along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Rebuck PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 important that the Rebuck PA area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, 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 local Rebuck PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Rebuck PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Rebuck PA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Rebuck PA
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 Rebuck PA.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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