How to Select a Nursing Degree Program near Spencerville Maryland
Finding the best nursing college near Spencerville MD may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Spencerville MD hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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 high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 Degree Options
There are several degree options 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Spencerville MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally 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 acquired 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Maryland board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Maryland approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Spencerville MD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Spencerville MD students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of 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 family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Spencerville MD or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Maryland and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Spencerville MD for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Some states require a specific 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 readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maryland or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet 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. Additionally, contact the Maryland school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Spencerville 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 superb reputation within the Spencerville MD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Spencerville MD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Spencerville MD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Spencerville 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.
Maryland Route 650
Maryland Route 650 (MD 650) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. Known as New Hampshire Avenue for most of its length, the state highway runs 25.89 mi (41.67 km) from Eastern Avenue at the Washington, D.C. border north to MD 108 in Etchison. MD 650 serves as a major north-south commuter route in northwestern Prince George's County and eastern Montgomery County, connecting the District of Columbia with the residential suburbs of Takoma Park, Langley Park, Maryland, Adelphi, Hillandale, White Oak, and Colesville. By contrast, the part of MD 650 north of Spencerville is a quiet rural road connecting several small communities along the northeastern fringe of Montgomery County.
MD 650 was originally built between Takoma Park and Adelphi in the late 1930s as an extension of New Hampshire Avenue out of Washington. In the 1950s, the state highway was extended north, taking over portions of MD 320 and U.S. Route 29 (US 29) and all of MD 116. Beginning in the 1950s and continuing through the 1990s, MD 650 has been expanded to a multi-lane divided highway in stages from its southern terminus north to Spencerville.
MD 650 begins at Eastern Avenue on the border of Washington, D.C.. New Hampshire Avenue continues south into the District of Columbia. MD 650 heads northeast as a six-lane divided highway with a speed limit of 35 mph (56 km/h) lined with shopping centers. The state highway straddles the border between Prince George's County on the east and Montgomery County on the west, as well as the eastern border of the city of Takoma Park. MD 650 intersects Poplar Avenue and Ray Road, which were formerly MD 204, before the present state highway meets MD 410, which heads west as Ethan Allen Avenue and east as East–West Highway. After crossing MD 410, MD 650 fully enters both Takoma Park and Montgomery County. The state highway heads into a forested area with some residences, where it intersects Sligo Creek Parkway and the Sligo Creek Trail on a bridge crossing Sligo Creek. MD 650 continues into an area of apartment buildings and single family residences, then passes between a couple of shopping centers before intersecting MD 193 (University Boulevard) in Langley Park.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Spencerville MD
Deciding on the right nursing school is perhaps the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select 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 Spencerville MD.
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