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Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Whitman MA

How to Choose a Nursing Program near Whitman Massachusetts

Whitman MA surgical nurse assisting surgeonLocating the right nursing program near Whitman MA may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Whitman MA Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Whitman MA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options available 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Whitman MA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares 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 afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 desire 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 acquiring 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 acquired 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 vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Training

Whitman MA LPN assisting patientThere are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 Massachusetts 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Whitman MA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to 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.

What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Whitman MANow that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Whitman MA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see 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. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Whitman MA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Whitman MA 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Whitman MA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Whitman MA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Nursing Online Schools

woman attending nursing school online in Whitman MAAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many Whitman MA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 work and household obligations have left you with little 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 Whitman MA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Whitman Massachusetts 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.

Whitman, Massachusetts

Whitman was first settled by Europeans in 1670 and was officially incorporated in 1875. Prior to becoming Whitman, it was formally the southern parish of the town of Abington. The new name, Whitman, was taken from Augustus Whitman,[1] whose family who grew up in South Abington, and was adopted in 1886. Though before adopting the name Whitman, the small town was known as Little Comfort.

Whitman has a rich history that is deeply rooted in the shoemaking industry. Regal Shoe and Bostonian Shoe are perhaps the most notable companies. At one time there were over 20 shoe factories and related factories making metal shanks in town. There are a few abandoned factories left, and some have been turned into condominiums.

In the late 1930s, Ruth Graves Wakefield invented chocolate chip cookies in Whitman at the Toll House Inn on Bedford Street.[2] The Toll House burned completely on New Year's Eve 1984, in a fire that originated in the kitchen. The inn was not rebuilt. The site is marked with a historical marker, and that land is now home to a Wendy's restaurant and Walgreens pharmacy, with the Toll House sign still in existence. The former Whitman Savings Bank was also the first in the country to offer savings bank life insurance (SBLI). Whitman is the home of the famous Peaceful Meadows Ice Cream, as well as the former home of Saftler's Inc., one of the oldest and largest independently owned fabric stores in the country, which closed in June 2011.[3] In 1964 The Venus Cafe was founded by former professional wrestler Peter Drosos, who fought under the name Pete "The Golden Greek".

Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Whitman MA

Whitman MA nursing studentPicking the right registered nursing program is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list 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 proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Whitman MA.

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