How to Select a Nursing Program near Smithfield Rhode Island
Searching for the right nursing school near Smithfield RI may feel like a complex endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are various crucial additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Smithfield RI medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Smithfield RI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Rhode Island community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn 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 Rhode Island 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 may want 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 2 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.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Rhode Island board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many Smithfield RI students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. 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 job and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Smithfield RI area and throughout Rhode Island and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Smithfield RI, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Rhode Island or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Rhode Island school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Smithfield RI 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 schools 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Smithfield RI medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Smithfield RI hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Smithfield RI?
Smithfield, Rhode Island
Smithfield is located in Providence County, Rhode Island, United States. It includes the historic villages of Esmond, Georgiaville, Mountaindale, Hanton City, Stillwater and Greenville. The population was 21,430 at the 2010 census. Smithfield is the home of Bryant University, a private four year college.
The area comprising modern-day Smithfield was first settled in 1636 by several British colonists, including John Steere as a farming community and named after Smithfield, London. The area was within the boundaries of Providence until 1731 when Smithfield was incorporated as a separate town. Chief Justice Peleg Arnold lived in early Smithfield, and his 1690 home stands today. There was an active Quaker community in early 18th century Smithfield that extended along the Great Road, from what is today Woonsocket, north into south Uxbridge, Massachusetts. This Quaker community, and its members, became influential in the abolition movement, with members such as Effingham Capron and Abby Kelley Foster, and also gave rise to other Quaker settlements including one at Adams, Massachusetts where Susan B. Anthony was born as an early member. Elizabeth Buffum Chace is a well-known person from Smithfield who was influential in both abolition of slavery, and the women's rights movement. In the 19th century several mills were built in the town. In the mid-19th century the towns of North Smithfield, Rhode Island, and Lincoln, Rhode Island, became separate towns. The colonial ghost town of Hanton City is located within the boundaries of present-day Smithfield, but was a completely separate community in the eighteenth century. A Revolutionary war soldier, from the Smithfield side of the Massachusetts border, Captain James Buxton, ended up as a Massachusetts militiaman and Continental Army veteran, who was deeded 300 acres in Worcester County by Governor John Hancock. For this reason Buxton was lost to the history of Rhode Island Revolutionary soldiers.(see South Uxbridge history). Buxton served at Valley Forge among other battles.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 71.9 km² (27.8 mi²). 68.9 km² (26.6 mi²) of it is land and 3.1 km² (1.2 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 4.25% water.
Choose the Right RN Program near Smithfield RI
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Smithfield RI.
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