How to Choose a Nursing Degree Program near Stockton Maryland
Selecting the best nursing college near Stockton MD may feel like a formidable project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Stockton MD hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Stockton MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 usually a 2 year program after attaining 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Maryland board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Maryland approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Stockton MD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Stockton MD students. Concerning 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 economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Stockton MD or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Maryland and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Stockton MD for non-accredited schools.
- 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) together with 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 call some Stockton MD 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Stockton MD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Stockton MD hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Stockton MD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Stockton 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.
Stockton is a census-designated place (CDP) in Worcester County, Maryland, United States. The population was 143 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Salisbury, Maryland-Delaware Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Stockton, originally called Sandy Hill, grew up at the crossing of the post road from Snow Hill south to Virginia (whose track is generally followed by modern Maryland Route 12) with the road from Mattapony Landing on the Pocomoke River to the Chincoteague Bay (the eastern part of which is now Maryland Route 366), where small ocean-going vessels could drop anchor. The landing on Chincoteague Bay came to be known as George Island Landing. Settlement in the area began in the 1660s, when the area was still part of Somerset County. Worcester County was separated from Somerset in 1742, and by 1774 Sandy Hill had grown large enough to merit a chapel of ease within All Hallows' Parish, today called Holy Cross Chapel. Sandy Hill, unlike neighboring Girdletree, was never incorporated, but in 1870 the name of the town was officially changed, by act of the legislature, from Sandy Hill to Stockton, commemorating the Rev. Thomas H. Stockton, a prominent Methodist minister. In 1872 the Worcester County election district which took its name from Sandy Hill was renamed Stockton.
In 1876, a railroad (which would eventually become part of the Pennsylvania Railroad) was laid from Franklin City and Greenbackville in Virginia to Snow Hill. The line's main purpose was to haul seafood harvested from the Atlantic Ocean and Chincoteague Bay to Philadelphia, but the line also carried passengers. To avoid confusion with other Stocktons around the country, the station at Stockton was named Hursley Station.
Select the Right Nursing School near Stockton MD
Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Stockton MD.
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