How to Choose a Nursing School near Buxton Maine
Locating the right nursing program near Buxton ME may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Buxton ME hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. 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 are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Buxton ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 may 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving 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 attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Buxton ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must 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 own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Maine or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure 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 prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Buxton ME or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Buxton ME for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Buxton 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Buxton ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Buxton ME hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Buxton ME students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Buxton ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Buxton 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.
Buxton is a town in York County, Maine, United States. It is part of the Portland–South Portland–Biddeford, Maine Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 8,034 at the 2010 census. Buxton includes the villages of Salmon Falls/Tory Hill, Chicopee, Groveville, Bar Mills, West Buxton, and Buxton Center. The old town Common is east of Union Falls, which is the location of Skelton Dam, Operated by Central Maine Power, and near historic location of the original settlement at Pleasant Point.
The township was granted by the Massachusetts General Court as Narragansett Number 1 in 1728. It was assigned to Philemon Dane of Ipswich, Massachusetts and 119 other veterans (or their heirs) who had fought in King Philip's War against the Narragansett Indians in 1675. Settlement was attempted in the early 1740s but abandoned because of the ongoing French and Indian Wars.
The first permanent settlement commenced in fall of 1750 near Salmon Falls, which was within protection of the stockaded blockhouse and trading post built in 1728 a half mile below Union Falls in present-day Dayton. Amos Chase was one of the pioneers of the town, and his daughter was said to be the first white child born in Buxton. He was a prominent figure in the area, one of the largest taxpayers, and was the first deacon of the Congregational Church in Pepperellborough (present-day Saco, ME). The first schoolhouse in Buxton was established in 1761 by Rev. Silas Moody. Narragansett Number 1 was incorporated in 1772 as Buxton. It was named by its minister, Rev. Paul Coffin for the spa town of Buxton in Derbyshire, England, for unknown reasons. Buxton, England is often incorrectly cited as the home of his ancestors, but that was Brixton as noted on page 7 of the cited source(2).
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Buxton ME
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Buxton ME.
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