How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Sykesville Maryland
Locating the right nursing school near Sykesville MD may seem like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Sykesville MD hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Sykesville MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maryland board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Maryland approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Sykesville MD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimum amount of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Sykesville MD students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly 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. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Sykesville MD or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Maryland and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick 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. Besides helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Sykesville MD for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Maryland school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Sykesville MD healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Sykesville MD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Sykesville MD hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Sykesville MD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Sykesville Maryland 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.
Sykesville is a small town in Carroll County, Maryland, United States. The town lies 20 miles west of Baltimore and 40 Miles north of Washington D.C. The population was 4,436 at the 2010 census. BudgetTravel.com named Sykesville, MD 'Coolest Small Town in America' in June 2016.
The land on which Sykesville sits started out as part of the 3,000-acre (12 km2) Springfield Estate, owned by wealthy Baltimore shipbuilder William Patterson. In 1803, Patterson's daughter Elizabeth, married Napoléon Bonaparte's younger brother Jérôme, but when she arrived in Europe as Jérôme's bride, Napoléon refused to let Betsy Patterson Bonaparte set foot on land. Napoléon refused the marriage of the two, and would not let Elizabeth set foot on France's soil. He was determined that Jerome marry into royalty, and sent Betsy back home. Denied by Napoléon, she was never able to see her husband again, leaving her to raise their son alone in the United States. Upon the death of William in 1824, his son George Patterson inherited the estate. In 1825, George Patterson sold 1,000 acres (4.0 km2; 1.6 sq mi) of Springfield Estate to his friend and business associate, James Sykes.
A tract of land on the Howard County side of the Patapsco River contained an old saw and grist mill. In 1830 Sykes replaced it with a newer mill and constructed a five-story stone hotel, to take care of railroad personnel and the tourist trade. In 1831 the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad (B&O) extended its main line to "Horse Train Stop", since Sykesville had yet to be named. Other businesses moved into the area, including two general stores, new mills, churches and a post office. In 1832 the town managed to gain control of a barn across the Patapsco River, the dividing line between Carroll and Howard County, but the citizens were forced to return the barn under threat of federal troops.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Sykesville MD
Selecting the right nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Sykesville MD.
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