How to Pick a Nursing College near Waterville Valley New Hampshire
Choosing the right nursing school near Waterville Valley NH may feel like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Waterville Valley NH hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing 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 normally 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Waterville Valley NH area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve 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 allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the New Hampshire board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 pursue, it should be New Hampshire 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Waterville Valley NH area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Waterville Valley NH or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout New Hampshire and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Waterville Valley NH for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for New Hampshire or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the New Hampshire school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Waterville Valley NH 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Waterville Valley NH medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Waterville Valley NH hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Waterville Valley NH students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Waterville Valley NH?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Waterville Valley New Hampshire 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.
Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Waterville Valley attracts many visitors in the winter months with alpine skiing at Waterville Valley Resort and many miles of trails for cross-country skiing. During the summer, attractions include a golf course, tennis courts, and a variety of hiking options. The Mad River flows through the town, providing great views all year round.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 64.9 square miles (168 km2), of which 0.04 sq mi (0.10 km2) is water, comprising 0.05% of the town. The highest point in Waterville Valley is the North Peak of Mount Tripyramid, at 4,180 feet (1,270 m) above sea level.
As of the census of 2000, there were 257 people, 121 households, and 75 families residing in the town. The population density was 4.0 people per square mile (1.5/km²). There were 1,097 housing units at an average density of 16.9 per square mile (6.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.28% White, 1.95% Asian, 0.78% from other races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Waterville Valley NH
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Waterville Valley NH.
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