How to Pick a Nursing Program near Cushing Maine
Locating the right nursing school near Cushing ME may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Cushing ME hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cushing ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth 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 past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Cushing ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Cushing ME or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Cushing ME for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 certain 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cushing 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 programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Cushing ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Cushing ME hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Cushing ME students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cushing ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cushing 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.
Cushing is a town in Knox County, Maine, United States. The population was 1,534 at the 2010 census. A favorite of artists for its unspoiled natural setting, Cushing includes the villages of North Cushing, Cushing, South Cushing, and Pleasant Point.
Part of the Waldo Patent, it was called the Lower Plantation of St. Georges, once extending across both sides of the St. George River. It was first permanently settled in 1733 with Scots and Irish immigrants recruited from Ireland by Brigadier-General Samuel Waldo, who offered 100 acres (0.40 km2) for each household. Attacks during the French and Indian Wars, however, deterred habitation. A stone blockhouse known as Burton's Fort was built in 1753 by its commander, Captain Benjamin Burton. Hostilities finally ceased in 1759 with the Fall of Quebec. On January 28, 1789, the town was incorporated and named for Thomas Cushing, statesman and lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. On February 7, 1803, the town of St. George was set off and incorporated.
The Olson House was depicted in Andrew Wyeth's 1948 painting, Christina's World, which in turn was used as Dahlia Gillespie's house in the horror video game series Silent Hill, and inspired the farmer's house in the 1978 film Days of Heaven. The building is now operated by the Farnsworth Art Museum of Rockland.
Select the Right Nursing School near Cushing ME
Choosing the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Cushing ME.
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