How to Pick a Nursing School near Wilton New Hampshire
Choosing the right nursing school near Wilton NH may feel like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Wilton NH hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wilton NH area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 wish 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 commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically 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 period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next 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 advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 New Hampshire approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Wilton NH area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Wilton NH students. Concerning 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 can be lessened, 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 work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Wilton NH or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price 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 prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Wilton NH for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New Hampshire 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 agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the New Hampshire school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Wilton NH 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Wilton NH medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Wilton NH hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Wilton NH?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wilton New Hampshire 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.
Wilton, New Hampshire
Wilton is a town in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,677 at the 2010 census. Like many small New England towns it grew up around water-powered textile mills, but is now a rural bedroom community with some manufacturing and service employment. Wilton is home to the High Mowing School, a private preparatory school.
The compact town center, where 1,163 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined by the U.S. Census Bureau as the Wilton census-designated place and is located near the junction of New Hampshire Routes 31 and 101, at the confluence of Stony Brook with the Souhegan River.
The town was first part of a township chartered as "Salem-Canada" in 1735 by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher of Massachusetts, which then claimed this area. It was granted to soldiers from Salem, Massachusetts, who had served in 1690 under Sir William Phips in the war against Canada. "Salem-Canada" was one of the towns on the state's borders intended to provide protection against Indian attack.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Wilton NH
Picking the ideal nursing program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Wilton NH.
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