How to Choose an Accredited Nursing School near Litchfield Connecticut
Choosing the best nursing school near Litchfield CT may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review the nursing degree choices that are available along with what the jobs of nurses are in our medical care system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Litchfield CT area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
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Why Choose the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an integral part of a Litchfield CT medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing can lead to many opportunities, such as healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for several reasons, the most notable are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently go into the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic ailments. This humanistic side of the medical profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select from a variety of work environments, such as home care facilities, physician’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can progress into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, neonatology and genetics. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others elect to be educators, policy consultants and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Litchfield CT hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment 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. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number 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 time to attend classes for some Litchfield CT students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Litchfield CT or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Connecticut and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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. In addition to helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Litchfield 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. Many states require a specific 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 prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Connecticut or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Connecticut school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Litchfield CT healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Litchfield CT medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Litchfield CT hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Best Undergraduate Nursing Programs Litchfield CT
Weekend Nursing Programs Near Me Litchfield Connecticut
Enrolling in the right nursing college is potentially the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Weekend Nursing Programs Near Me and wanting more information on the topic Where to Find RN Training Online.. However, by using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Litchfield CT.
More Connecticut Nursing Locations
Litchfield is a town in and former county seat of Litchfield County, Connecticut, United States. The population was 8,466 at the 2010 census. The boroughs of Bantam and Litchfield are located within the town. There are also three unincorporated villages: East Litchfield, Milton, and Northfield. Northfield, located in the southeastern corner of Litchfield, is home to a high percentage of the Litchfield population.
In 1784, the first law school in the United States, the so-named Litchfield Law School, was established by judge and legal scholar Tapping Reeve. Prior to its establishment Reeve had accepted several legal apprentices since he had settled there in 1773, but saw such demand for his expertise that he formally opened the one-room school within a decade. During the school's fifty year history it would accept more than 1,100 students, including Aaron Burr, Jr., Horace Mann, and Levi Woodbury, the first justice of the US Supreme Court to attend law school.
Litchfield has a high tourism rate due to its unique historical district. In the summer, visitors come from New York City and surrounding areas as a vacation home to spend time in the country. In the fall, many people from surrounding states come to Litchfield for the beautiful foliage.
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