How to Pick a Nursing Program near West Warren Massachusetts
Selecting the right nursing school near West Warren MA may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely West Warren MA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the West Warren MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position 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 extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after obtaining 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 obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative 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, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Massachusetts 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 education can be received at West Warren MA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Massachusetts 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 sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for some West Warren MA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near West Warren MA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in West Warren MA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Warren MA 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 schools you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the West Warren MA 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. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with West Warren MA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near West Warren MA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Warren Massachusetts 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.
Originally a part of Quaboag Plantation, the town now known as Warren was part of Brookfield for 68 years until it was renamed Western. Warren includes land petitioned from both the Quaboag Plantation and the "Kingsfield", which included parts of Palmer and Brimfield.
On March 13, 1834, the town was renamed Warren in honor of General Joseph Warren, who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill during the American Revolutionary War. The need to rename the town came about due to confusion of the name "Western" with the town of Weston, Massachusetts. According to the History of Warren Massachusetts by Olney I. Darling, Western was renamed Warren due to "countless mistakes in the transmission of the mails." On January 13, 1834, a town meeting was held to discuss a name change. Shortly thereafter, the town petitioned the legislature to change the name, which was soon done, and the first town meeting under the name "Warren" was held on April 28, 1834.
Two other places named "Warren" had existed in Massachusetts prior to 1834. The first Warren, now in Rhode Island, was located on land combining parts of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and Plymouth Colony. In 1636, Roger Williams, banished from Salem, fled to the Indian village of Sowams, where he was sheltered by Massasoit until he settled at Providence.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near West Warren MA
Deciding on the right nursing program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in West Warren MA.
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