How to Pick a Nursing College in Rockwood Pennsylvania
Choosing the right nursing college near Rockwood PA may seem like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Rockwood PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist 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 few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Rockwood PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Rockwood PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Rockwood PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Rockwood PA. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Rockwood PA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Rockwood PA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more 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 commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, 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 to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Rockwood PA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Rockwood PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Rockwood PA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Rockwood 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 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 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 favorable reputation within the Rockwood PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Rockwood PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Rockwood PA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Rockwood PA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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