How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Spangler Pennsylvania
Locating the right nursing program near Spangler PA may feel like a complex endeavor, especially 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 receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future 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 nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Spangler PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. 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 Spangler PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Spangler PA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive 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 want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Spangler PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Spangler PA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 attests that the course of study effectively 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Spangler PA area. The length of the training 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 have 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 minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Spangler PA home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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 commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Spangler PA and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Spangler PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 important that the Spangler PA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Spangler 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Spangler PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Spangler PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Spangler PA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Spangler PA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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