How to Select a Nursing Degree Program near Wood River Junction Rhode Island
Finding the right nursing program near Wood River Junction RI may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Wood River Junction RI hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available 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 just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Wood River Junction RI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 provides 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, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Rhode Island board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Rhode Island approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Wood River Junction RI area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Rhode Island or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many Wood River Junction RI students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. So if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Wood River Junction RI or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Rhode Island and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Wood River Junction RI for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Rhode Island or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Rhode Island school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wood River Junction RI 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 programs 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 displeased 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 Wood River Junction RI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Wood River Junction RI hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Wood River Junction RI?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wood River Junction Rhode Island 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.
Wood River Junction, Rhode Island
Wood River Junction is commonly considered by locals to be one of the coldest locations in the state of Rhode Island, due to its low-lying and flat geography. It is the home of Meadowbrook Pond, also known as Wood River Pond, a popular fishing and swimming area. It is surrounded by two rivers: the Wood River and Pawcatuck River.
The village is the site of the former Wood River Branch Railroad Station. The Wood River Branch of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad was chartered in 1872 and completed in 1874. On April 19, 1873 a train disaster was caused by a bridge washout and burning of passenger cars. The Branch was built to provide service from the Hope Valley to the main line of the New York, Providence and Boston Railroad and was only six miles long. The New Haven Railroad took over operation of the Branch in 1892 and eventually abandoned it on August 8, 1947. The main line continues in operation today as Amtrak's Northeast Corridor.
On 24 July 1964, a fatal criticality accident occurred at the Wood River Junction nuclear facility. This facility was designed to recover highly enriched uranium in scrap material from fuel element production. Technician Robert Peabody was working with a tank containing radioactive uranium-235 in a sodium carbonate solution, which was being agitated by a stirrer. Intending to add a bottle of trichloroethane to remove organics, he mistakenly added a bottle of uranium solution to the tank, producing a criticality excursion (uncontrolled chain reaction) accompanied by a flash of light and the splashing of about 20% of the tank's contents (about 10 litres (2.2 imp gal; 2.6 US gal) out of 40 to 50 litres (8.8 to 11.0 imp gal; 11 to 13 US gal), including the bottle contents) out of the tank.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Wood River Junction RI
Enrolling in the ideal nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using 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 final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Wood River Junction RI.
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