How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Little Falls New York
Locating the right nursing college in Little Falls NY may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Little Falls NY. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing 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 in Little Falls NY with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Little Falls NY.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Little Falls NY medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Little Falls NY colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Little Falls NY board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 Little Falls NY approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Little Falls NY to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Little Falls NY healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Little Falls NY and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Little Falls NY.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New York or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the New York school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Little Falls NY 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 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 displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Little Falls NY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Little Falls NY clinical environment. Essentially all New York nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School in Little Falls NY
Selecting the right registered nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 Little Falls NY.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must ready some approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you as well as the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and topics that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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