How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Dexter Maine
Finding the best nursing college near Dexter ME may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Dexter ME hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Dexter ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 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 wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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 don’t forget to get in touch with the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Dexter ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Maine or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Dexter ME or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Dexter ME for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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 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 provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Dexter 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 good reputation within the Dexter ME healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Dexter ME hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Dexter ME students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more 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 household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Dexter ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dexter 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.
Dexter is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,895 at the 2010 census. It is part of the Bangor metropolitan statistical area. Dexter Regional High School, which serves Dexter as well as other nearby small towns, is located in the town.
Dexter was settled beginning in 1801 by Ebenezer Small, David Smith, and others from New Hampshire, and was originally called Elkinstown. When incorporated as a town in 1816, it named itself after Judge Samuel Dexter, who was then running for governor of Massachusetts (of which Maine was still a part). The town of Brooks in nearby Waldo County was incorporated the same year and named for the opposing candidate, John Brooks. Brooks won the election. The town of Dexter, however, achieved the greater prosperity.
The town grew because of its location on the East Branch of the Sebasticook River, which provided excellent water power for mills. In 1818, Jonathan Farrar constructed a grist mill at the falls. The Dexter Historical Society today uses the building which replaced it in 1854 as part of its museum complex. The stream would also power five woolen mills, the oldest and largest of which was established by Amos and Jeremiah Abbott in 1836. Amos Abbott & Company, which closed in 1975, was the only textile mill in the United States owned by one family for such a long period. In the 1960s, the town's name became familiar throughout New England because of the pervasive log cabin style factory outlets of the Dexter Shoe Company, founded in a vacant Dexter woolen mill in 1958 by Harold Alfond.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Dexter ME
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Dexter ME.
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