How to Choose a Nursing College near Westmoreland New Hampshire
Choosing the best nursing program near Westmoreland NH may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Westmoreland NH hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two 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 Westmoreland NH area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving 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 earned 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Westmoreland NH area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Westmoreland NH students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Westmoreland NH or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Westmoreland 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) in addition to 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Westmoreland NH 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 considering 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Westmoreland NH medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get 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 mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Westmoreland NH hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Westmoreland NH?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Westmoreland 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.
Westmoreland, New Hampshire
Once known as Great Meadow, this town was first granted in 1735 by Governor Jonathan Belcher of Massachusetts as Number 2, second in a line of Connecticut River fort towns designed to protect the colonies from Indian attack. This part of the river was a favorite Indian campsite, and the settlers who came beginning in 1741 were several times victims of attack. When the border between Massachusetts and the Province of New Hampshire was fixed (with Number 2 on the New Hampshire side), the town was regranted in 1752 by Governor Benning Wentworth as Westmoreland, named for John Fane, 7th Earl of Westmorland.
The Park Hill Meetinghouse, built in 1762, has a Paul Revere bell. Considered one of the most beautiful churches in New England, it was moved to its present site by oxen in 1779, and renovated in 1826.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.9 square miles (95.6 km2), of which 35.9 sq mi (93.0 km2) is land and 1.0 sq mi (2.6 km2), or 2.71%, is water. Westmoreland is bounded on the west by the Connecticut River. Hyland Hill, elevation 1,510 feet (460 m) above sea level and the highest point in town, is on the eastern border and although it is now private land, it is a local hiking and hunting destination.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Westmoreland NH
Choosing the ideal nursing program is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Westmoreland NH.
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