How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Vinalhaven Maine
Searching for the right nursing school near Vinalhaven ME may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Vinalhaven ME hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the care 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 functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer 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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Vinalhaven ME 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 healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus 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 attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Vinalhaven ME area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Maine or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Vinalhaven ME or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Maine and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Vinalhaven ME for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Maine school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Vinalhaven ME 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Vinalhaven ME medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Vinalhaven ME hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Vinalhaven ME students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 job and family obligations 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 active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Vinalhaven ME?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Vinalhaven 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.
Vinalhaven is a town located on the larger of the two Fox Islands in Knox County, Maine, United States. Vinalhaven is also used to refer to the Island itself. The population was 1,165 at the 2010 census. It is home to a thriving lobster fishery and hosts a summer colony. Since there is no bridge to the island, Vinalhaven is accessible from Rockland via an approximately hour-and-fifteen-minute ferry ride across West Penobscot Bay, or by air taxi from Knox County Regional Airport.
Archeological remains indicate that the island was first inhabited 3800–5000 years ago by the Red Paint People. Later, it became Abenaki territory. Europeans visited in the 16th century, and English Capt. Martin Pring named the archipelago Fox Islands in 1603. The first permanent English settlement occurred in 1766 when Thaddeus Carver from Marshfield, Massachusetts, arrived, and later purchased 700 acres (2.8 km2) from Thomas Cogswell on the southern shore near what would become known as Carver's Harbor.
Others soon followed to establish the remote fishing and farming community in the Gulf of Maine. The first families of Vinalhaven are considered to be Arey (the family would move off island to fight for the south during the civil war), Calderwood, Carver, Coombs, Dyer, Ginn, Greem, Hopkins, Lane, Leadbetter, Norton, Philbrook, Pierce, Roberts, Smith, Warren and Vinal. On June 25, 1789, Vinalhaven was incorporated as a town, named for John Vinal. Vinal was not an island resident, merely the agent who petitioned the Maine General Court to incorporate the new township; nonetheless the name stuck. In 1847, the North Fox Island seceded and became a separate township called North Haven.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Vinalhaven ME
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select 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 licensed registered nurse in Vinalhaven ME.
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