Category Archives: Massachusetts

Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Westborough MA

How to Pick a Nursing School near Westborough Massachusetts

Westborough MA pediatric nurse holding babySelecting the right nursing college near Westborough MA may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must 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 considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Westborough MA Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Westborough MA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Westborough MA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining 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 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Training

Westborough MA geriatric nurse with patientThere are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Massachusetts approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other 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.

CNA Programs

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Westborough MA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact 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 can be other prerequisites as well.

Nursing Online Classes

female student attending nursing school online in Westborough MAEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Westborough MA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental 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. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Westborough MA or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Westborough MA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Westborough MA 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Westborough MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Westborough MA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Westborough MA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Westborough 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.

Westborough, Massachusetts

Westborough is a town[1] in Worcester County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 18,272 at the 2010 Census, in nearly 6,900 households. Incorporated in 1717, the town is governed under the New England open town meeting system, headed by a five-member elected Board of Selectmen whose duties include licensing, appointing various administrative positions, and calling a town meeting of citizens annually or whenever the need arises.

Before recorded time, the area now known as Westborough was a well-travelled crossroads. As early as 7,000 BC, prehistoric people in dugout canoes followed the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers to their headwaters in search of quartzite for tools and weapons.

From 1200 to 1600 AD, seasonal migrations brought Nipmuc Indians to hunt and fish near Cedar Swamp and Lake Hoccomocco. Using Fay Mountain as a landmark, Indians crisscrossed Westborough on well-worn paths: the old Connecticut Path leading west from Massachusetts Bay; the Narragansett Trail leading south, and the trail (along the present Milk Street) leading to Canada.[2]

Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Westborough MA

Westborough MA Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyPicking the ideal nursing college is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many variables that you must consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Westborough MA.

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