Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Biddeford ME

How to Choose a Nursing College near Biddeford Maine

Biddeford ME surgical nurse assisting surgeonChoosing the right nursing college near Biddeford ME may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Biddeford ME Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Biddeford ME hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist 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 along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing 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 instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There is more than one degree option 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Biddeford ME area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after attaining 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Programs

Biddeford ME LPN assisting patientThere are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Biddeford ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Maine 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. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Biddeford MENow that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Biddeford ME or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Biddeford ME for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Maine school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Biddeford ME 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Biddeford ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Biddeford ME hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Nursing Online Classes

woman attending nursing school online in Biddeford MEAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for 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 alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some Biddeford ME students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Biddeford ME?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Biddeford Maine 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.

Biddeford, Maine

Biddeford is a city in York County, Maine, United States. It is the principal commercial center of York County. The population was 21,277 at the 2010 census. Twin city of Saco, Biddeford includes the resort community of Biddeford Pool, Fortunes Rocks and Granite Point. The town is the site of the University of New England and the annual La Kermesse Franco-Americaine Festival. First visited by Europeans in 1616, it is the site of one of the earliest European settlements in the United States.

Abenaki Indians, whose main village was upriver at Pequawket (now Fryeburg), once hunted and fished in the area. The first European to settle at Biddeford was physician Richard Vines in the winter of 1616-17 at Winter Harbor, as he called Biddeford Pool. This 1616 landing by a European predates the Mayflower landing in Plymouth, Massachusetts, (located 100 miles to the south) by approximately four years, a fact that is overlooked in much of New England lore.[4] In 1630, the Plymouth Company granted the land south of the River Swanckadocke to Dr. Vines and John Oldham. In 1653, the town included both sides of the river, and was incorporated by the Massachusetts General Court as Saco.[5]

Biddeford was first incorporated as the Town of Saco in 1653.[6] Roger Spencer was granted the right in 1653 to build the first sawmill. Lumber and fish became the community's chief exports. In 1659, Major William Phillips of Boston became a proprietor, and constructed a garrison and mill at the falls. During King Philip's War in 1675, the town was attacked by Indians. Settlers withdrew to Winter Harbor for safety, and their homes and mills upriver at the falls were burned. In 1693, a stone fort was built a short distance below the falls, but it was captured by the Indians in 1703, when 11 colonists were killed and 24 taken captive to Canada. In 1688, Fort Mary was built near the entrance to Biddeford Pool.[7] The town was reorganized in 1718 as Biddeford, after Bideford, a town in Devon, England, from which some settlers had emigrated. After the Fall of Quebec in 1759, hostilities with the natives ceased.[5]

Select the Right Nursing Degree near Biddeford ME

Biddeford ME nursing studentSelecting the right registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Biddeford ME.

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