How to Choose a Nursing Program near West Milford New Jersey
Selecting the right nursing college near West Milford NJ may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as West Milford NJ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the West Milford NJ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 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 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.
After 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 vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 West Milford NJ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for New Jersey 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 training course is state certified. In addition to 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 popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many West Milford NJ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near West Milford NJ or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within New Jersey 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 site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial 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 selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in West Milford NJ 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the New Jersey school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Milford NJ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the West Milford NJ medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with West Milford NJ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near West Milford NJ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Milford New Jersey 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 Milford, New Jersey
West Milford is a township in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 25,850, reflecting a decline of 560 (-2.1%) from the 26,410 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 980 (+3.9%) from the 25,430 counted in the 1990 Census.
West Milford started out as New Milford in what was then western Bergen County in the 18th century, having been settled by disenchanted Dutch from Milford, New Jersey (later renamed by the British as Newark). These same Dutch also built a town of New Milford in eastern Bergen County. When both New Milfords applied for post offices in 1828, a clerk in Washington, D.C. is said to have approved the other application first and assigned the name "West Milford" to the New Milford in western Bergen County in order to distinguish between the two locations.
West Milford became a municipality by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 10, 1834, when it was formed from the westernmost half of Pompton Township, while the area was still part of Bergen County. On February 7, 1837, Passaic County was created from portions of both Bergen County and Essex County, with West Milford as the western end of the newly formed county. The township was named for Milford, Connecticut.
Choose the Right Nursing School near West Milford NJ
Picking the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in West Milford NJ.
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