How to Select a Nursing School near Watertown Connecticut
Selecting the right nursing school near Watertown CT may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are various essential additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different Watertown CT medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Watertown CT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It readies 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 higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Connecticut colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish to progress 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Watertown CT students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Watertown CT area and throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, 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 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Watertown CT, which are oftentimes not offered 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut 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 considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Watertown CT 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 programs 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Watertown CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Watertown CT hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Watertown CT?
Watertown is a town in Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 22,514 at the 2010 census. The zip code for Watertown is 06795. It is a suburb of Waterbury. It borders the towns of Woodbury, Middlebury, Litchfield, Plymouth, Bethlehem, and Thomaston. The urban center of the town is the Watertown census-designated place, with a population of 3,574 at the 2010 census.
Around 1657 began the colonization of the area today called Watertown. In that time, the colony was called Mattatock, though it had several variations in spelling through the years. The land where Watertown is now located, having originally belonged to Mattatock, officially changed its name to Watterbury (now Waterbury) by record on March 20, 1695, by consensus of a council. Essentially, the original Colony of Mattatuck, which became Watterbury, then Waterbury in name, comprised a much greater land area than Waterbury does today. The original name for Watertown was Waterbury. Thomas Judd and other families were among the first investors to buy the land as a group. The Town of Watertown was officially incorporated in 1780 under a charter within the United States of America.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 29.6 square miles (76.6 km²), of which, 29.1 square miles (75.5 km²) of it is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km²) of it (1.45%) is water. Watertown also includes the section known as Oakville, which is often mistaken for a separate town. Although Oakville has its own post office and ZIP code, it does not have a charter or town government of its own. Oakville also receives all of its city services (Police, fire, water and so on) from Watertown.
Pick the Right RN School near Watertown CT
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most critical step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you pick 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Watertown CT.
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