How to Pick a Nursing Program near West Tisbury Massachusetts
Locating the right nursing college near West Tisbury MA may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely West Tisbury MA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 commonly 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 to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the West Tisbury MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 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 provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at West Tisbury MA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount 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 convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for many West Tisbury MA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near West Tisbury MA or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in West Tisbury MA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Tisbury 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the West Tisbury MA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with West Tisbury MA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near West Tisbury MA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Tisbury 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.
West Tisbury, Massachusetts
West Tisbury is a town located on Martha's Vineyard in Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States. The population was 2,740 at the 2010 census. Along with Chilmark and Aquinnah, West Tisbury forms "Up-Island" Martha's Vineyard.
West Tisbury was first settled by English settlers in 1669 as part of the town of Tisbury. The town was officially incorporated in 1892, the last town on Martha's Vineyard to be incorporated. Despite its separation from Tisbury, the original settlement of the town is still located in West Tisbury. Historically, it has been the agricultural heartland of the island. Up through the 1980s West Tisbury was one of the quickest growing communities on the island.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 41.8 square miles (108.2 km2), of which 25.0 square miles (64.8 km2) is land and 16.7 square miles (43.3 km2), or 40.06%, is water. West Tisbury ranks 123rd out of 351 communities in the Commonwealth in terms of land area, and is the second largest town (behind Edgartown) on the Vineyard. West Tisbury is bordered by Vineyard Sound to the northwest, Tisbury to the northeast, Edgartown to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the south, and Chilmark to the west, and includes the regions known as Lambert's Cove and Makonikey. The town also shares a common corner with Oak Bluffs, where the two towns meet with Tisbury and Edgartown.
Choose the Right Nursing College near West Tisbury MA
Choosing the ideal nursing school is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in West Tisbury MA.
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