How to Choose a Nursing College near Boothbay Harbor Maine
Selecting the best nursing program near Boothbay Harbor ME may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Boothbay Harbor ME hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available 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 receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Boothbay Harbor ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 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 typically 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.
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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, 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 Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Boothbay Harbor ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Maine or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 can be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Boothbay Harbor ME or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Boothbay Harbor ME for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Boothbay Harbor ME healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Boothbay Harbor ME medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially 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 associations with Boothbay Harbor ME hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many Boothbay Harbor ME students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Boothbay Harbor ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Boothbay Harbor 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.
Boothbay Harbor, Maine
Boothbay Harbor is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,165 at the 2010 census. During summer months, the entire Boothbay Harbor region is a popular yachting and tourist destination. ZIP Code is 04538. The community is served by the 633 exchange in Area Code 207.
The area was part of Cape Newagen, where the English established an early seasonal fishing camp. In 1666, Henry Curtis purchased the land from the sachem Mowhotiwormet, commonly known as Chief Robinhood, who lived at what is today Woolwich. But the settlement was attacked and burned during King Philip's War, resettled shortly afterwards, then destroyed again in 1689 during King William's War. It was abandoned for 40 years.
In 1730, Colonel David Dunbar, the superintendent and governor of the Territory of Sagadahock, laid out a new town, named Townsend after Viscount Townshend. Despite predations during the French and Indian Wars, and robberies during the Revolutionary War by marauding British sailors, the settlement was successful, not least because of its large, deep and protected harbor. During the Penobscot Expedition, in 1779 Townsend became a rendezvous point for the American naval fleet prior to its disastrous encounter with the British at Castine.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Boothbay Harbor ME
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Boothbay Harbor ME.
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