How to Select a Nursing College in Barrington Rhode Island
Choosing the best nursing school near Barrington RI may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Barrington RI medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Barrington RI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Barrington RI. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Rhode Island community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Rhode Island 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 may wish to advance 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Barrington RI or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Rhode Island board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Barrington RI. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Rhode Island approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Barrington RI area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Rhode Island to make sure 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 other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in Rhode Island. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Barrington RI home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Rhode Island and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Barrington RI and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Barrington RI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Barrington RI area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Rhode Island or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Rhode Island school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Barrington RI 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 schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Barrington RI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Barrington RI area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Barrington RI
Picking the right registered nursing program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Barrington RI.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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