How to Choose a Nursing College near Dover Foxcroft Maine
Locating the best nursing college near Dover Foxcroft ME may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Dover Foxcroft ME hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dover Foxcroft ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Dover Foxcroft 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 have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Dover Foxcroft ME or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Dover Foxcroft ME for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet 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. Additionally, get in touch with the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Dover Foxcroft 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 programs you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Dover Foxcroft ME medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Dover Foxcroft ME hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed 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 school for many Dover Foxcroft ME students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 very 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 Dover Foxcroft ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dover Foxcroft 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.
Dover-Foxcroft is the largest town in, and the seat of, Piscataquis County, Maine, United States. The population was 4,213 at the 2010 census. Dover-Foxcroft is home to the Maine Whoopie Pie Festival, an annual one-day event which takes place in late June each year. It started in 2009 to honor the whoopie pie. The whoopie pie became the official state treat of Maine in 2013. The 2012 festival brought 5,000 people to the town while the 2014 event brought in more than 7,500 attendees.
Dover was purchased from Massachusetts by Boston merchants Charles Vaughan and John Merrick, both of whom had emigrated from England. It was first permanently settled in 1803 by Eli Towne from Temple, New Hampshire, then incorporated on January 19, 1822. Agriculture was the principal early occupation, producing potatoes, corn and grain.
Originally known as T5 R7 NWP, Foxcroft was one of five towns conveyed by Massachusetts in 1796 to Bowdoin College. It was purchased from the college in 1800 by Joseph E. Foxcroft of New Gloucester and settled by John, Eleazer and Seth Spaulding in 1806, when they built the first mill. It was dubbed Spauldingtown until February 29, 1812, when it was incorporated as Foxcroft, taking its proprietor's name.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Dover Foxcroft ME
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Dover Foxcroft ME.
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