How to Find the Right Nursing School near Harwich Port Massachusetts
Choosing the right nursing program near Harwich Port MA may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are several key additional considerations to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Harwich Port MA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Harwich Port MA may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available in Harwich Port MA to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Massachusetts 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 desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Harwich Port MA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college in the Harwich Port MA area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get training in Harwich Port MA and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet in Harwich Port MA, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans in Harwich Port MA, which are often 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Massachusetts or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Harwich Port MA 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Harwich Port MA relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Harwich Port MA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
About Harwich Port Massachusetts
Harwich (/ˈhɑːrwɪtʃ/ HAR-wich) is a New England town on Cape Cod, in Barnstable County in the state of Massachusetts in the United States. At the 2010 census it had a population of 12,243. The town is a popular vacation spot, located near the Cape Cod National Seashore. Harwich's beaches are on the Nantucket Sound side of Cape Cod. Harwich has three active harbors. Saquatucket, Wychmere and Allen Harbors are all in Harwich Port. The town of Harwich includes the villages of Pleasant Lake, West Harwich, East Harwich, Harwich Port, Harwich Center, North Harwich and South Harwich. Harwich is also home to the exclusive Wequassett Resort and Golf Club.
Harwich was first settled by Europeans in 1670 as part of Yarmouth. The town was officially incorporated in 1694, and originally included the lands of the current town of Brewster. Early industry involved fishing and farming. The town is considered by some to be the birthplace of the cranberry industry, with the first commercial operation opened in 1846. There are still many bogs in the town, although the economy is now more centered on tourism and as a residential community. The town is also the site of the start/finish line of the "Sail Around the Cape", which rounds the Cape counter-clockwise, returning via the Cape Cod Canal.
The Harwich Antique Center West Harwich is a large group shop that features over 40 dealers. They feature Victorian furniture, primitive items, vintage and collectables, ephemera, coins, jewelry, lamps, military items, postcards and much more.
The Patriot Square Shopping Center in neighboring South Dennis is convenient for residents of North Harwich and West Harwich. The plaza contains a Stop & Shop supermarket and other stores around it. Supermarkets in Harwich include a Shaw's Star Market on the Harwich Port/West Harwich border and another Stop & Shop in East Harwich.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Harwich Port MA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 RN in Harwich Port MA.
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