How to Pick a Nursing Program in Riverside Rhode Island
Locating the best nursing program near Riverside RI may seem like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Riverside RI medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Riverside RI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Riverside 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 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 made available by Rhode Island community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 desire 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Riverside RI 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Rhode Island board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Riverside RI. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Riverside RI area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Rhode Island to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Rhode Island. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Riverside RI home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Rhode Island and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Riverside RI along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Riverside RI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Riverside RI area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Rhode Island or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Rhode Island school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Riverside RI 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 schools you are looking at 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Riverside RI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Riverside RI area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Riverside RI
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select 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 produce 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Riverside RI.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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