How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near West Newfield Maine
Selecting the right nursing school near West Newfield ME may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to check into before you determine 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 healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely West Newfield ME hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the West Newfield ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at 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 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at West Newfield ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Maine or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some West Newfield ME students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near West Newfield ME or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in West Newfield ME for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Maine school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Newfield ME healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 complete 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the West Newfield ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with West Newfield ME hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near West Newfield ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Newfield Maine area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
This was part of the large tract sold on November 28, 1668 by Newichawannock Indian Chief Sunday (or Wesumbe) to Francis Small, a Kittery trader. The price was two large Indian blankets, two gallons of rum, two pounds of gunpowder, four pounds of musket balls and twenty strings of beads. The township was surveyed and first settled as Washington Plantation in 1778. A number of settlers had been soldiers in the Revolutionary War. It was incorporated as Newfield on February 25, 1794, and by 1859, the population was 1,418.
The Little Ossipee River runs through Newfield village and once provided water power to operate two gristmills, two lumber mills, a barrel stave mill, a shook mill, a planing mill and a carding mill. West Newfield had a sawmill, gristmill and stave mill. There was an attempt in the community to mine silver and iron, but it was not profitable. By 1880, the population was 995. Newfield would be heavily damaged by the Great Fires of 1947.
Don King of Topsfield, Massachusetts bought an old farm at Newfield in 1965, marking the beginning of what would become Willowbrook Museum Village, a re-created 19th-century village. Other properties and historic buildings were added, together with a collection of early farm implements, tools, carriages and sleighs. The museum is now a tourist attraction.
Select the Right Nursing School near West Newfield ME
Deciding on the right nursing program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in West Newfield ME.
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