How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Bradford Maine
Selecting the right nursing program near Bradford ME may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care 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 a large number of different medical environments, such as Bradford ME hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain 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 explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Bradford ME 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 centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently 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 qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, normally 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 typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively 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 attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Bradford ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Maine or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Bradford ME or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Bradford ME for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Maine school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Bradford ME 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 programs 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Bradford ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Bradford ME hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain 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 conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some Bradford ME students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Bradford ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bradford 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.
According to some early documents, Bradford was said to be first settled between 1803-05 by James White and Robert Marshall of Thomaston however early settler Cornelius Bradford was among the first to live in the settlement and died there in 1790. Cornelius Bradford is a lineal descendant of Governor William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony. He was the eldest child of Joshua and Hannah Bradford, who were killed during the Raid on Meduncook. Bradford was organized as Blakesburg Plantation in 1820 and was incorporated as a town on March 12, 1831. By the mid-1850s its population had peaked at 1,500, which is about 200 more people than it has today.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,290 people, 493 households, and 338 families residing in the town. The population density was 31.3 inhabitants per square mile (12.1/km2). There were 583 housing units at an average density of 14.2 per square mile (5.5/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 96.4% White, 0.8% African American, 0.9% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 0.3% from other races, and 1.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.6% of the population.
There were 493 households of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.9% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 31.4% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.01.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Bradford ME
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Bradford ME.
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