How to Pick the Best Nursing Program near Ashford Connecticut
Choosing the best nursing school near Ashford CT may feel like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over the nursing degree options that are available as well as what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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There are several degree options available to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Ashford CT area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?
Nurses are an integral component of a Ashford CT medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to many opportunities, including research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most individuals in a medical facility or home care setting have more contact with nurses than with physicians. Nurses commonly go into the profession out of a desire to tend to the needs of patients, including in instances of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the medical profession, rather than the analytical or research related elements, is attractive to many who choose to pursue a nursing career. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can choose from an assortment of work environments, such as nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a number of specializations, such as addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. While many nurses provide direct patient care, others elect to be teachers, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Ashford CT hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Ashford CT students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 commitments have left you with limited 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Ashford CT or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Ashford CT for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Ashford 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Ashford CT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Ashford CT hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Training Programs Near Me Ashford Connecticut
Deciding on the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should consider when deciding on a nursing college. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Online Nursing Training Programs Near Me and wanting more information on the topic Weekend RN Colleges.. However, by utilizing our checklist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Ashford CT.
More Connecticut Nursing Locations
Ashford is a town in Windham County, Connecticut, United States. It is part of the Connecticut Quiet Corner. The population was 4,317 at the 2010 census. It was founded in 1714. Eastford was a part of Ashford until 1847, when the former split off to organize its own town. For this reason North Ashford is located in northeast Eastford.
Ashford is home to the largest boy scout camp in Connecticut, the June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation; to Paul Newman's Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for children with cancer and other serious illness; to the Salvation Army CONNRI Lodge and Conference Center; and to the Evangelical Christian Center, a retreat, camp and conference center.
President George Washington, returning from his tour of the country in the fall of 1789, was chagrined to be involuntarily abandoned in the village on a Sunday. It was contrary to law to hire a conveyance on that day, which was observed by villagers, to Washington's great annoyance.
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