How to Find the Right Nursing College near Washington Grove Maryland
Searching for the best nursing school near Washington Grove MD may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Washington Grove MD hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty 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 as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Washington Grove MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Maryland board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying 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 seek, it needs to be Maryland approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Washington Grove MD area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Washington Grove MD or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Maryland and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Washington Grove MD for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Maryland or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Maryland school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Washington Grove MD 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Washington Grove MD medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Ask if the schools have associations with Washington Grove MD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some Washington Grove MD students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Washington Grove MD?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Washington Grove Maryland 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.
Washington Grove, Maryland
Washington Grove is a town in Montgomery County, Maryland. The population was 555 at the 2010 United States Census. The Washington Grove Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
A group of Methodists began the tradition of having camp meetings in the area around 1800. Camp meetings were a tradition where a group of Methodists would gather in a forest clearing to worship and socialize. Benches were arranged in a circle or oval with an elevated preachers' stand in the middle. Tents surrounded the area along with carriages and wagons behind them. Services lasted well into the night. The camp meetings provided cultural and spiritual improvement to those who attended.
In 1873 a committee from the Foundry Methodist Church, located at 14th and G streets NW in Washington, D.C., began a search for a permanent location to hold annual camp meetings. They wanted a location with sufficient space for thousands of attendees, a supply of clean water, and a shaded location to provide relief from the summer sun. They wanted the location to be less than a day's trip from Washington, D.C., and protection from the sale of liquor, because Methodists did not believe in drinking alcohol.
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Washington Grove MD
Choosing the right registered nursing school is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Washington Grove MD.
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