How to Pick a Nursing Program near Washington New Jersey
Choosing the best nursing school near Washington NJ may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Washington NJ medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to 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
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Washington NJ area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by New Jersey community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at New Jersey colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the New Jersey board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Washington NJ students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Washington NJ area and throughout New Jersey and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Washington NJ, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for New Jersey or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the New Jersey school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Washington NJ healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 favorable reputation within the Washington NJ healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Washington NJ hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Washington NJ?
Washington, New Jersey
Washington is a borough in Warren County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 6,461, reflecting a decline of 251 (-3.7%) from the 6,712 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 238 (+3.7%) from the 6,474 counted in the 1990 Census. The borough is located in the eastern most region of the Lehigh Valley.
Washington was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 20, 1868, from portions of Washington Township. The borough was named for George Washington, one of more than ten communities statewide named for the first president. The Borough of Washington is surrounded by Washington Township, which is one of five municipalities in the state of New Jersey with the name "Washington Township".
Washington Borough separated from Washington Township as of February 20, 1868. The community grew during the 19th century as a result of the transportation routes that ran through or near the borough. The Morris Canal ran along the north end of town and two rail lines of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad crossed within the borough. Intersecting in the center of the borough are two major roadways, which today are Route 31 and Route 57. The borough was ultimately named for the "Washington House", a tavern built by Revolutionary War Col. William McCullough in 1811 that was later destroyed by fire in 1869.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Washington NJ
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Washington NJ.
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