How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Woodward Pennsylvania
Choosing the best nursing college near Woodward PA may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Woodward PA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Woodward PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 may desire 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 Pennsylvania 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 adequately 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Woodward PA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified 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 practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Woodward PA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Woodward PA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Woodward PA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified 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 Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Woodward PA 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 looking at 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Woodward PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Woodward PA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Woodward PA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Woodward Pennsylvania 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.
Woodward Camp or Camp Woodward is a sleep away summer camp in Woodward, Pennsylvania, United States. It was founded in 1970 and has become world-renowned for its action sports, gymnastics, and cheer programming. Providing first class facilities, Olympic medalists, and top action sports professionals, Woodward offers a summer experience attracting campers from all over the world.
Named after a small town 35 minutes east of State College, Pennsylvania, Woodward started out as a gymnastics camp bringing in Olympic medalists, college coaches and providing expert training immersed within a summer camp experience. When the US decided to boycott the 1980 Olympic games Woodward Camp expanded its camp programing to include BMX racing. The BMX program quickly grew and the facilities were expanded to include ramps. The word of an action sports facility in central Pennsylvania traveled quickly and skateboarders and aggressive inline skaters were drawn to Woodward as action sports hit the mainstream with the blow up of the X-Games. Using its gymnastics knowledge by including foam pits and resi landings, Woodward offers first class facilities for action sports.
In December 2008, Copper Mountain resort in Colorado opened the first installment of 'Woodward at Copper' with the Cage, a retail store focused on action sports with such features as an indoor skate bowl and the Woodward All Ages Lounge. Woodward at Copper offers winter camp days and week-long residential summer camps, including dry land as well as mountain facilities and training areas.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Woodward PA
Choosing the ideal nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Woodward PA.
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