Category Archives: Massachusetts

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

How to Pick a Nursing Program near Winchester Massachusetts

Winchester MA surgical nurse assisting surgeonSelecting the right nursing college near Winchester MA may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional things to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Winchester MA Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Winchester MA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Maintaining 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 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 Degree Options

There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Winchester MA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available 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 subsequently attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

Winchester MA LPN assisting patientThere are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Winchester MA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Massachusetts 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 approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Winchester MANow that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Winchester MA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Winchester MA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Winchester MA 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 schools you are considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Winchester MA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
  • 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. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Winchester MA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Online Nursing Programs

woman attending nursing school online in Winchester MAEnrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for many Winchester MA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional 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 household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Winchester MA?

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

Winchester, Massachusetts

Winchester is a small suburban town located 8.2 miles north of downtown Boston, Massachusetts, United States in Middlesex County. It is the 7th wealthiest municipality in Massachusetts and functions largely as a bedroom community for professionals who work in the greater Boston area. The population was 21,374 at the 2010 United States Census.

The land on which Winchester now sits was purchased from Native Americans by representatives of the settlement of Charlestown in 1639, and the area was first settled by Europeans in 1640. In the early years of the settlement, the area was known informally as Waterfield, a reference to its many ponds and to the river which bisected the central village. In its second century, the area was referred to as Black Horse Village, after the busy tavern and hostelry in its center.

Until the middle of the 19th century, parts of Arlington, Medford, Cambridge, and Woburn comprised what is now Winchester. The movement toward incorporation of what, by this time, was called South Woburn was likely precipitated by the rise of the Whig Party in Massachusetts (History of Winchester, Massachusetts by H. S. Chapman and Bruce W. Stone, 1936, 1975).

Choose the Right Nursing College near Winchester MA

Winchester MA nursing studentChoosing the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each 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 select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Winchester MA.

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