How to Select a Nursing College near West Townshend Vermont
Choosing the best nursing college near West Townshend VT may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly 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 essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job 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 numerous different medical environments, including West Townshend VT hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees 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 just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the West Townshend VT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically 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 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Vermont board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 Vermont approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at West Townshend VT area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length 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 mandated 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 minimal period of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for Vermont or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near West Townshend VT or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Vermont and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in West Townshend VT for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Vermont or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Vermont school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some West Townshend VT 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the West Townshend VT medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with West Townshend VT hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many West Townshend VT students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. 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 family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near West Townshend VT?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater West Townshend Vermont 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.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 42.8 square miles (110.8 km2), of which 42.7 square miles (110.6 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km2) (0.14%) is water. The West River flows through the town.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,149 people, 469 households, and 319 families residing in the town. The population density was 26.9 people per square mile (10.4/km2). There were 668 housing units at an average density of 15.6 per square mile (6.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.82% White, 0.26% African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.78% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.70% of the population.
There were 469 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.8% were non-families. 25.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.84.
Select the Right Nursing Program near West Townshend VT
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in West Townshend VT.
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