How to Choose a Nursing College near Torrington Connecticut
Choosing the right nursing college near Torrington CT may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Torrington CT hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 commonly 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Torrington CT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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 vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice 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 supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Connecticut approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Torrington CT area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Connecticut 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 training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Torrington CT students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Torrington CT or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Torrington CT for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Torrington CT 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Torrington CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Torrington CT hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Torrington CT?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Torrington Connecticut 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.
Torrington is the largest city in Litchfield County, Connecticut and the Northwest Hills region. It is also the core city of Greater Torrington, the largest micropolitan area in the United States. The city population was 36,383 according to the 2010 census.
Torrington is a former mill town, as are most other towns along the Naugatuck River Valley. Downtown Torrington is home to the Nutmeg Conservatory for the Arts, which trains ballet dancers and whose Company performs in the Warner Theatre, a 1,700 seat auditorium built in 1931 as a cinema by the Warner Brothers film studio. Downtown Torrington also hosts the largest Lodge of Elks in New England. Elks Lodge #372 supports many community activities and events.
There was a University of Connecticut regional campus in Torrington. It closed in May 2016 due to low enrollment  The 100-acre campus is located in a quiet rural setting on the western outskirts of the city, and consists of the M. Adela Eads Classroom Building and the Litchfield County Cooperative Extension Service Building.
Select the Right Nursing College near Torrington CT
Deciding on the right nursing degree program is probably the most important step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Torrington CT.
More Nursing School Locations in Connecticut
Business Results 1 - 10 of 12