RN Nursing Programs in West Point PA 19486

How to Find the Right Nursing College in West Point Pennsylvania

West Point PA Registered NurseSearching for the right nursing college near West Point PA may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the West Point PA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing 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 complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in West Point PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in West Point 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 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Pennsylvania community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including 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) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Pennsylvania colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in West Point PA or concentrate 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. 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.

LVN and LPN Training

RN assisting surgeon in West Point PAThere are generally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in West Point PA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

In contrast to some 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 West Point PA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in 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 period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the education 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 other requirements as well.

Online Nursing Schools

attending nursing school online in West Point PAEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your West Point PA home, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

What to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to West Point PA and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 organization. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near West Point PA.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the West Point PA area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby West Point 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the West Point PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.

Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all West Point PA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Select the Right RN School near West Point PA

Picking the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in West Point PA.

Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?

When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.

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