How to Choose a Nursing School in Rimersburg Pennsylvania
Choosing the right nursing program near Rimersburg PA may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Rimersburg PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Rimersburg PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Rimersburg PA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn 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 normally a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Rimersburg 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Rimersburg PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative 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, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 some other 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Rimersburg PA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Rimersburg PA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Rimersburg PA as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
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. In addition to helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Rimersburg PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Rimersburg PA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Rimersburg 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 programs 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Rimersburg PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Rimersburg PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Rimersburg PA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Rimersburg PA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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