How to Select a Nursing College in Woonsocket Rhode Island
Finding the right nursing college near Woonsocket RI may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Woonsocket RI medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 deliver primary or specialty care services in Woonsocket RI, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Woonsocket RI. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Rhode Island community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare 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) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Rhode Island colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 normally a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Woonsocket RI or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Rhode Island board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Woonsocket RI. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Woonsocket RI area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Rhode Island to make sure 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 can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Rhode Island. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Woonsocket RI home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic 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 use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Rhode Island 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 site of the school relative to Woonsocket RI as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Woonsocket RI.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Woonsocket RI area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Rhode Island or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Rhode Island school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Woonsocket 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Woonsocket RI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Woonsocket RI area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Woonsocket RI
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Woonsocket RI.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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