How to Find the Right Nursing College near Cumberland Center Maine
Selecting the best nursing college near Cumberland Center ME may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training 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 future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Cumberland Center ME hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Available
There are multiple degrees 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 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Cumberland Center ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps 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 subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Cumberland Center ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Maine or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Cumberland Center ME or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Cumberland Center 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Cumberland Center 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 colleges 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Cumberland Center ME medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Cumberland Center ME hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Cumberland Center ME students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cumberland Center ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cumberland Center 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.
Cumberland Center, Maine
Cumberland Center is a census-designated place (CDP) within the town of Cumberland in Cumberland County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,499 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Portland – South Portland – Biddeford, Maine, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,596 people, 891 households, and 744 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 612.2 people per square mile (236.4/km²). There were 904 housing units at an average density of 213.2/sq mi (82.3/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 99.00% White, 0.15% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.42% Asian, 0.12% from other races, and 0.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.42% of the population.
There were 891 households out of which 49.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.1% were married couples living together, 8.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.4% were non-families. 14.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.22.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Cumberland Center ME
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick 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 Cumberland Center ME.
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