How to Find the Right Nursing Program near New Castle Delaware
Choosing the right nursing college near New Castle DE may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, 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 study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as New Castle DE hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the New Castle DE 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 medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 generally a two 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Delaware board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Delaware 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at New Castle DE area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Delaware 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 course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near New Castle DE or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Delaware and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in New Castle DE for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. 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 enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Delaware or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Delaware school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some New Castle DE 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 New Castle DE medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with New Castle DE hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many New Castle DE students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward 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 New Castle DE?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater New Castle Delaware 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.
New Castle, Delaware
New Castle is a city in New Castle County, Delaware, six miles (10 km) south of Wilmington, situated on the Delaware River. In 1900, 3,380 people lived here; in 1910, 3,351. According to the 2010 Census, the population of the city is 5,285.
New Castle was originally settled by the Dutch West India Company in 1651, under the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant, on the site of a former aboriginal village, "Tomakonck" ("Place of the Beaver"), to assert their claim to the area based on a prior agreement with the aboriginal inhabitants of the area. The Dutch originally named the settlement Fort Casimir, but this was changed to Fort Trinity (Swedish: Trefaldighet) following its seizure by the colony of New Sweden on Trinity Sunday, 1654. The Dutch conquered the entire colony of New Sweden the following year and rechristened the fort Nieuw-Amstel ("New Amstel"). This marked the end of the Swedish colony in Delaware as an official entity, but it remained a semi-autonomous unit within the New Netherland colony and the cultural, social, and religious influence of the Swedish settlers remained strong. As the settlement grew, Dutch authorities laid out a grid of streets and established the town common (The "Green"), which continue to this day.
In 1664, the English seized the entire New Netherland colony in the Second Anglo-Dutch War. They changed the name of the town to "New Castle" and made it the capital of their Delaware Colony. The Dutch regained the town in 1673 during the Third Anglo-Dutch War but it was returned to Great Britain the next year under the Treaty of Westminster. In 1680, New Castle was conveyed to William Penn by the Duke of York by livery of seisin and was Penn's landing place when he first set foot on American soil on October 27, 1682. This transfer to Penn was contested by Lord Baltimore and the boundary dispute was not resolved until the survey conducted by Mason and Dixon, now famed in history as the Mason–Dixon line.
Pick the Right Nursing College near New Castle DE
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in New Castle DE.
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