How to Select a Nursing School near West Bridgewater Massachusetts
Locating the best nursing program near West Bridgewater MA may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing school. There are various crucial additional considerations to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the West Bridgewater MA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in West Bridgewater MA may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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.
There are several degree options offered in West Bridgewater MA to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn 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 explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by Massachusetts community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Massachusetts colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 commonly 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.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in West Bridgewater MA, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college in the West Bridgewater MA area or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one 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 instruction directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training in West Bridgewater MA and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web in West Bridgewater MA, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in West Bridgewater MA, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, contact the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some West Bridgewater 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 colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 superb reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of West Bridgewater MA relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with West Bridgewater MA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
About West Bridgewater Massachusetts
West Bridgewater, Massachusetts
West Bridgewater was first settled in 1651 as a part of Olde Bridgewater. The town separated from Bridgewater, Massachusetts and was officially incorporated in 1822, the second of the three communities to separate from Bridgewater (after North Bridgewater, now Brockton, and before East Bridgewater) over the span of three years. The town, like many in the area, had both agrarian and industrial roots; the Town River provided water power for milling and irrigation for farming. The town is home to the Keith House (1662), the oldest standing parsonage in the U.S. The town is also believed to be the site of the first industrial park in the U.S., now the site of the Town Park. The original Ames Shovel Works was located in the Town Park. Today, the town is mostly residential.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 15.7 square miles (40.6 km2), of which 15.3 square miles (39.7 km2) is land and 0.35 square miles (0.9 km2), or 2.25%, is water. The town ranks 238th of 351 communities in the Commonwealth in terms of land area, and ranks nineteenth out of the twenty-seven towns in Plymouth County. West Bridgewater is bordered by Brockton to the north, East Bridgewater to the east, Bridgewater to the south, and Easton to the west, as well as a small section (less than a quarter of a mile long) of the southwestern corner that borders the town of Raynham. West Bridgewater's town center is approximately 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the center of Brockton, and is 25 miles (40 km) south of Boston.
West Bridgewater lies along the northeast edge of the Hockomock Swamp, with a large section of the southwestern corner of town being covered by the swamp and its wildlife management area. There are also several other protected areas throughout the town, as well as several parks and a large pond surrounded by a state forest. The Town River also passes through the southern portion of town, branching off into several brooks throughout the town, as does the Salisbury River in the northeast corner of town.
Massachusetts Route 24 passes through the western half of town, with an exit at Route 106. Route 106 passes from east to west in the town, and meets at the center of town with Route 28. The Middleborough/Lakeville Line of the MBTA's commuter rail service passes through town, between the towns of Middleborough and Lakeville and South Station in Boston. There are no stops in West Bridgewater, but there are stops in Bridgewater and the Campello section of Brockton. There are no airports in the town; there are small strips in nearby Taunton and Mansfield, but the nearest national air service is at Logan International Airport in Boston. The town used to have rail service at Matfield Junction, Cochesett station. Matfield Junction was on the Middleborough branch of the Old Colony line, and Cochsett was on the Easton railroad branch; both were abandoned in the 1930s.
Select the Right RN Course near West Bridgewater MA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in West Bridgewater MA.
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