How to Choose a Nursing School near West Long Branch New Jersey
Selecting the best nursing school near West Long Branch NJ may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely West Long Branch NJ hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the West Long Branch NJ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be New Jersey approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at West Long Branch NJ area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimal period of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some West Long Branch NJ students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near West Long Branch NJ or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things 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 selection compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in West Long Branch NJ for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 specified 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the New Jersey school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some West Long Branch NJ 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 looking at 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the West Long Branch NJ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with West Long Branch NJ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near West Long Branch NJ?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Long Branch 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 Long Branch, New Jersey
West Long Branch is a borough in Monmouth County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 8,097, reflecting a decline of 161 (-1.9%) from the 8,258 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 568 (+7.4%) from the 7,690 counted in the 1990 Census. It is the home of Monmouth University.
Prior to being called West Long Branch, the area had been called Mechanicsville from the 18th century through the Civil War, and then Branchburg in the 1870s. The name West Long Branch appears in the 1889 Wolverton Atlas of Monmouth County, and seems to have derived its name from its proximity to a section of the Shrewsbury River.
In 1908, the residents of what was the West Long Branch section of Eatontown thought that they were not getting a fair return on their taxes. A request was made that the West Long Branch section be separated from Eatontown. The Township of Eatontown strongly resisted as there were several large estates in the West Long Branch section that were a source of considerable taxes. An act of the New Jersey Legislature was passed on April 7, 1908, and the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders authorized an election. On May 5, 1908, the referendum was held in West Long Branch, with voters approving the separation. The borough takes its name from Long Branch, which in turn takes its name from the "long branch" or south branch of the Shrewsbury River.
Pick the Right Nursing School near West Long Branch NJ
Selecting the right nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in West Long Branch NJ.
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