How to Choose a Nursing Program near Wethersfield Connecticut
Selecting the right nursing program near Wethersfield CT may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing college. There are various key additional aspects to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Wethersfield CT medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wethersfield CT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Connecticut community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Connecticut 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 might wish 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Wethersfield CT students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Wethersfield CT area and throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points 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 evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Wethersfield CT, which are often not provided 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wethersfield CT 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 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Wethersfield CT medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Wethersfield CT hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Wethersfield CT?
The town is primarily served by Interstate 91. The neighborhood known as Old Wethersfield is the state's largest historic district, spanning 2 sq mi (5.2 km2) and 1,100 buildings, dating back to the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Founded in 1634 by a Puritan settlement party of "10 Men" including John Oldham, Robert Seeley, Thomas Topping and Nathaniel Foote, Wethersfield is arguably the oldest town in Connecticut, depending on one's interpretation of when a remote settlement qualifies as a "town". Along with Windsor and Hartford, Wethersfield is represented by one of the three grapevines on the Flag of Connecticut, signifying the state's three oldest European settlements. The town took its name from Wethersfield, a village in the English county of Essex.
During the Pequot War, on April 23, 1637, Wongunk chief Sequin attacked Wethersfield with Pequot help. They killed six men and three women, a number of cattle and horses, and took two young girls captive. They were daughters of Abraham Swain or William Swaine (sources vary) and were later ransomed by Dutch traders.
Select the Right RN Program near Wethersfield CT
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Wethersfield CT.
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