How to Find the Right Nursing School near Williamsburg Pennsylvania
Finding the right nursing college near Williamsburg PA may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Williamsburg PA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Williamsburg PA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Williamsburg PA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Pennsylvania 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 certain that the training course 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 prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Williamsburg PA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. 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 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Williamsburg PA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Williamsburg PA 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Williamsburg PA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Williamsburg PA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Williamsburg PA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Williamsburg PA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Williamsburg Pennsylvania 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.
On July 6, 1754 a treaty was signed at Albany, New York between the Iroquois and the William Penn heirs, opening up portions of the west for settlement. However, British policy forbid western expansion and was in effect until after the American Revolution.
On September 17, 1789, George Reynolds took out a patent from the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania for a large tract of unsettled land surrounding the Big Spring which flows into the Juniata River.
The borough was founded in 1790 by Jacob Ake. Originally called Aketown, it is the oldest borough in the current borders of Blair County. The name change was in honor of William Ake, Jacob's son. By 1810, there were 34 houses in the village; the census of 1820 notes an inn, a distillery, and the presence of one slave. The Main Line of the Pennsylvania Canal was completed in 1832, and opened on November 28 when the packetboat "John Blair" left Huntingdon, for the west. The Blair County Children's Home was located in Williamsburg for many years until its destruction by fire. Today, the borough is approximately 30 blocks, centered on High and Second Streets. This comprises the Williamsburg Historic District, listed by the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. Nearby places also listed are: Etna Furnace and the Daniel Royer House.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Williamsburg PA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Williamsburg PA.
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