How to Pick a Nursing School in Wilmore Pennsylvania
Locating the best nursing program near Wilmore PA may seem like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Wilmore PA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support 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. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 Wilmore PA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Wilmore PA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on 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 generally a 2 year program made available by Pennsylvania community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Wilmore PA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Wilmore PA. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 type 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 most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Wilmore PA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Pennsylvania to make sure that the training course 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 prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Pennsylvania. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Wilmore PA home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. 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 in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Wilmore PA and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Wilmore PA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Wilmore PA area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Wilmore 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Wilmore PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Wilmore PA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Wilmore PA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select 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 licensed RN in Wilmore PA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Pennsylvania