How to Choose a Nursing School near Spencerville Maryland
Finding the right nursing school near Spencerville MD may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regretably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Spencerville MD medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as 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
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Spencerville MD area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Maryland community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Maryland colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Maryland board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many Spencerville MD students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Spencerville MD area and throughout Maryland and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Spencerville MD, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Maryland or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Maryland school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Spencerville MD 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 considering 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 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 good reputation within the Spencerville MD healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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 requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Spencerville MD hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Spencerville MD?
Maryland Route 650
Maryland Route 650 (MD 650) is a state highway in the U.S. state of Maryland. Known as New Hampshire Avenue for most of its length, the state highway runs 25.89 mi (41.67 km) from Eastern Avenue at the Washington, D.C. border north to MD 108 in Etchison. MD 650 serves as a major north-south commuter route in northwestern Prince George's County and eastern Montgomery County, connecting the District of Columbia with the residential suburbs of Takoma Park, Langley Park, Maryland, Adelphi, Hillandale, White Oak, and Colesville. By contrast, the part of MD 650 north of Spencerville is a quiet rural road connecting several small communities along the northeastern fringe of Montgomery County.
MD 650 was originally built between Takoma Park and Adelphi in the late 1930s as an extension of New Hampshire Avenue out of Washington. In the 1950s, the state highway was extended north, taking over portions of MD 320 and U.S. Route 29 (US 29) and all of MD 116. Beginning in the 1950s and continuing through the 1990s, MD 650 has been expanded to a multi-lane divided highway in stages from its southern terminus north to Spencerville.
MD 650 begins at Eastern Avenue on the border of Washington, D.C.. New Hampshire Avenue continues south into the District of Columbia. MD 650 heads northeast as a six-lane divided highway with a speed limit of 35 mph (56 km/h) lined with shopping centers. The state highway straddles the border between Prince George's County on the east and Montgomery County on the west, as well as the eastern border of the city of Takoma Park. MD 650 intersects Poplar Avenue and Ray Road, which were formerly MD 204, before the present state highway meets MD 410, which heads west as Ethan Allen Avenue and east as East–West Highway. After crossing MD 410, MD 650 fully enters both Takoma Park and Montgomery County. The state highway heads into a forested area with some residences, where it intersects Sligo Creek Parkway and the Sligo Creek Trail on a bridge crossing Sligo Creek. MD 650 continues into an area of apartment buildings and single family residences, then passes between a couple of shopping centers before intersecting MD 193 (University Boulevard) in Langley Park.
Select the Right RN Program near Spencerville MD
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Spencerville MD.
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