How to Choose a Nursing School near Windham New Hampshire
Finding the best nursing college near Windham NH may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Windham NH hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Windham NH area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers 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 in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be New Hampshire 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 the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Windham NH area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Windham NH students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more 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. So if your work and family obligations have left you with little 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Windham NH or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Windham NH for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, 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 Windham NH 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Windham NH healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Windham NH hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Windham NH?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Windham 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.
Windham, New Hampshire
The area was initially home to the Pawtucket Native Americans. Scottish immigrants began to settle in the area in 1719. The region was known as “Nutfield” and included what are now the neighboring towns of Derry and Londonderry. By 1721 some of the original settlers petitioned to form a separate independent community. Governor Benning Wentworth granted this request in 1742. One published theory holds that the community's name refers to Windham, Ireland, harkening back to the petitioners' homeland. However, it has been alternatively postulated that the town was named after Sir Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont, a member of Parliament from 1734 to 1750, Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 1761 to 1763, and a good friend of Governor Wentworth. The town of Windham was originally a parish of Londonderry. Windham was the second town designated by Governor Benning Wentworth following the establishment of the New Hampshire-Massachusetts border. Windham was the birthplace of Samuel Dinsmoor, Governor of New Hampshire from 1831 to 1834. The first census ever taken in Windham totaled at 663 residents in the year 1790.
Historic landmarks in Windham include the Searles School, Searles Castle, the town center, and the Armstrong Memorial Building. Searles Castle is one of Windham’s most prominent landmarks. Edward F. Searles, an interior decorator and antique collector, built the castle. The architect, Henry Vaughn, modeled the castle’s architecture after the style of the Stanton Harcourt Manor in Oxfordshire, England. The building was completed in 1915 at a cost of over $1,250,000. The castle contains over 20 rooms and is available to the public to be rented out for functions and events. In July 1909, Mr. Searles erected a commemorative plaque honoring governor Samuel Dinsmoor "a few rods" from his birthplace on Jenny's Hill, which stands today as a designated historic landmark.
Windham is situated in Rockingham County in southeastern New Hampshire, approximately 3 miles (5 km) north of the Massachusetts border. It is accessible from Exit 3 of Interstate 93. Windham is considered a bedroom community because of its growing population (over 10,000), only about 160 commercial land parcels, and lack of public transportation. The nearest airport to Windham is Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, about 20 miles (32 km) to the north. Boston, Massachusetts, is 37 miles (60 km) to the south along Interstate 93. The landscape of Windham consists of suburban subdivisions, rural open spaces and large areas of undeveloped land.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Windham NH
Picking the ideal nursing program is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Windham NH.
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