How to Select the Right RN Course near Stratford Connecticut
Searching for the best nursing program near Stratford CT may seem like a complex project, especially 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 must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review the nursing degree choices that are offered as well as what the jobs of nurses are in our health system.
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Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a nurse. And 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Stratford CT area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at 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 wish to advance 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Connecticut board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Enter the Nursing Profession?
Nurses are an essential part of a Stratford CT medical team, and for many patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career opens doors to a number of opportunities, including healthcare education, research and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for several reasons, among the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment have more contact with nurses than with doctors. Nurses frequently choose the profession out of a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and long-term care of chronic ailments. This human side of the healthcare profession, as opposed to the research or analytical related elements, is attractive to many who choose to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can select 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 variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses deliver direct patient care, others choose to be teachers, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Stratford CT hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Stratford CT students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Stratford CT or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Connecticut and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Stratford CT for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Connecticut or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Connecticut school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Stratford CT 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 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 good reputation within the Stratford CT medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Stratford CT hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Where to Find Nursing Courses Online Stratford Connecticut
Selecting the right nursing school is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Where to Find Nursing Courses Online and wanting more information on the topic Top RN Schools Online.. However, by using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Stratford CT.
More Connecticut Nursing Locations
Stratford is a town in Fairfield County, Connecticut, United States. It is situated on Long Island Sound along Connecticut's "Gold Coast" at the mouth of the Housatonic River. Stratford is in the Bridgeport–Stamford–Norwalk Metropolitan Statistical Area. It was founded by Puritans in 1639.
The population was 51,384 as of the 2010 census. It is bordered on the west by Bridgeport, to the north by Trumbull and Shelton, and on the east by Milford (across the Housatonic River). Stratford has a historical legacy in aviation, the military, and theater.
Stratford was founded in 1639 by Puritan leader Reverend Adam Blakeman, William Beardsley, and either 16 families (according to legend) or approximately 35 families (suggested by later research) who had recently arrived in Connecticut from England seeking religious freedom. In 1639 the General Court in Hartford made reference to the town as the "new plantation at Pequannock". In 1640 the community was known as Cupheag, a Native American Paugussett word meaning "at the enclosed place" or "place of shelter". By April 13, 1643, the growing town was known as Stratford, changed to honor William Shakespeare's birthplace of Stratford-upon-Avon in England.
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