How to Pick a Nursing School near Worthington Pennsylvania
Finding the right nursing program near Worthington PA may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Worthington PA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Worthington PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 might want 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Worthington PA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Worthington PA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Worthington PA or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Worthington PA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Worthington 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 schools you are considering 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 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 Worthington PA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Worthington PA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Worthington PA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Worthington 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.
Worthington was laid out on a tract of land called Mt. Lorenzo by Judge James Barr in 1843-1844. He chose the location due to the nearby junction of two important early stage coach routes, the east-west route from Indiana, Pennsylvania, to Butler, and the north-south route from Freeport to Emlenton. It was incorporated as a borough in 1855. As the village grew into a town it variously relied upon farming and light manufacturing for its income. During the 1970s most manufacturing ceased. Agriculture is still important to the region, and a few light tool and die firms survive. The region also features coal, natural gas, and mineral extraction. In the 19th century an iron furnace and woolen mill were the main industrial operations, both owned and operated by Peter Graff I.
The town's first settlers were a mix of eastern Pennsylvanians and newly arrived immigrants of Scotch-Irish, German and English background. Other ethnic groups would arrive in the early 20th century in small numbers. Other later industries included tile block and clay drain pipe manufacturing, aluminum ladder and specialty tool and die production, limestone mining, and underground mushroom farming. The town hosts several merchants including the Worthington Hardware, Cade's Tomato Pies, Carlesi's Restaurant, Moonlight Credit Union, Wo-Town Market (formerly Long's Market) and Bowser's Feed Store, four Protestant churches, a community park, several civic organizations (including a public library), and a community center and municipal complex housed in the former Junior/Senior High School. The fire hall serves both Worthington borough and West Franklin Township
Worthington is located in western Armstrong County at 40°50′17″N 79°37′58″W / 40.838123°N 79.632685°W / 40.838123; -79.632685.U.S. Route 422, the four-lane Benjamin Franklin Highway, passes through the borough south of its center, leading east 7 miles (11 km) to Kittanning and west 15 miles (24 km) to Butler. The borough extends west into the valley of Buffalo Creek, a tributary of the Allegheny River.
Select the Right Nursing College near Worthington PA
Deciding on the ideal nursing school is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you choose 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 select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Worthington PA.
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