Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Damariscotta ME

How to Select a Nursing School near Damariscotta Maine

Damariscotta ME surgical nurse assisting surgeonSelecting the best nursing school near Damariscotta ME may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Damariscotta ME Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Damariscotta ME hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Damariscotta ME area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has received 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN and LVN Programs

Damariscotta ME LPN assisting patientThere are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Damariscotta ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial 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 tip 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 additional requirements as well.

What to Ask Nursing Schools

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Damariscotta MEOnce you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Damariscotta ME or online, you can use the following pointers to start 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 select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Damariscotta ME for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Maine school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Damariscotta 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Damariscotta ME medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Damariscotta ME hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Online Nursing Programs

woman attending nursing school online in Damariscotta MEEnrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many Damariscotta ME students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Damariscotta ME?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Damariscotta 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.

Damariscotta, Maine

Damariscotta (/ˌdæmrɪˈskɒtə/ DAM-ri-SKOT-ə) is a town in Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The population was 2,218 at the 2010 census. A popular tourist resort area, the towns of Damariscotta and Newcastle are linked by the Main Street bridge over the Damariscotta River, forming the "Twin Villages". The name Damariscotta is an Indian name meaning "river of little fish".

The area was once inhabited by the Wawenock (or Walinakiak, meaning "People of the Bays") Abenaki Indians, who left behind 2,500-year-old oyster shell middens along the banks of the Damariscotta River. The Whaleback Shell Midden is now a state historic site. The land became part of the Pemaquid Patent, granted by the Plymouth Council in 1631 to Robert Aldsworth and Gyles Elbridge, merchants from Bristol, England. At Pemaquid (now Bristol), they built a fort and trading post.[4]

Some colonists moved upriver from the village at Pemaquid about 1640 to settle what is today Damariscotta. But the settlements were attacked in 1676 during King Philip's War, with the inhabitants either driven off or massacred. Attempts to rebuild alternated with further attacks during the French and Indian Wars. The Province of Massachusetts Bay constructed Fort William Henry at Pemaquid in 1692, but it was destroyed in 1696. The last battle of King William's War was on September 9, the Battle of Damariscotta, in which Captain John March killed 25 native men.[5]

Pick the Right Nursing Program near Damariscotta ME

Damariscotta ME nursing studentEnrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose 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 practicing RN in Damariscotta ME.

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