How to Select a Nursing College near Swans Island Maine
Selecting the right nursing school near Swans Island ME may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Swans Island ME hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 accountabilities. 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 Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Swans Island ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after obtaining 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 obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Maine board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Maine approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Swans Island ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Maine or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Swans Island ME or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Maine and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the expense 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 only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Swans Island ME for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Swans Island 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 schools 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Swans Island ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Swans Island ME hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Swans Island ME students. Regarding tuition, some 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 easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Swans Island ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Swans Island 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.
Swan's Island, Maine
Swan's Island is an island town in Hancock County, Maine. It is named after Colonel James Swan of Fife, Scotland, who purchased the island and some surrounding areas and organized their colonization in the eighteenth century. The population was 332 at the 2010 census. The town is accessible by ferry from Bass Harbor.
The island has a summertime population of approximately 1,000. There is a general store on the island, which opened in spring 2007, and at least one inn. There are also a number of small cottage-industry shops. The main industry is lobster fishing, which employs 40 people full-time and many others in part-time work.
The population grew slowly to more than 1,000 by 1900. Fish processing was the dominant industry into the 1930s, when it became no longer profitable in the area. The state-run ferry, which began service in 1960, helped make Swan's Island a popular summer tourism destination. The ferry also is used to carry the mail to the island.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Swans Island ME
Selecting the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Swans Island ME.
More Awesome Locations in Maine