How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Verona Pennsylvania
Searching for the best nursing program near Verona PA may feel like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Verona PA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Verona PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Verona PA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Verona PA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Verona PA. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Verona PA area. The length 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 mandated to receive 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 minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Verona PA home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Verona PA along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to see 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Verona 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Verona PA area school you are enrolled in 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. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Verona PA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Verona PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Verona PA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Verona PA
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school 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 create 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 practicing nurse in Verona PA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in Pennsylvania