How to Find the Right Nursing College near Middletown Delaware
Locating the right nursing program near Middletown DE may feel like a challenging project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including Middletown DE hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Middletown DE area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available 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 earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 desire 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 2 year program after obtaining 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 received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Delaware board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Delaware approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Middletown DE area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Delaware or the state where you will be practicing. One tip 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Middletown DE or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Delaware and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Middletown DE 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Delaware or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Delaware school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Middletown DE 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 colleges 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 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 favorable reputation within the Middletown DE medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. 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 as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Middletown DE hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Middletown DE students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Middletown DE?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Middletown 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,161 people, 2,298 households, and 1,631 families residing in the town. The population density was 962.4 people per square mile (371.7/km²). There were 2,514 housing units at an average density of 392.7 per square mile (151.7/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 94.42% White, 1.30% African American, 0.11% Native American, 0.78% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.93% from other races, and 1.44% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.29% of the population.
Population in 2012: 19,483 White alone - 10,804 (58.4%) Black alone - 4,863 (26.3%) Hispanic - 1,319 (7.1%) Asian alone - 940 (5.1%) Two or more races - 491 (2.7%) American Indian alone - 29 (0.2%) Other race alone - 31 (0.2%) •Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander alone - 18 (0.10%)
There were 2,298 households out of which 41.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.5% were married couples living together, 18.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.0% were non-families. 22.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.14.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Middletown DE
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical 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 list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Middletown DE.
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