How to Select a Nursing School near Wiscasset Maine
Locating the right nursing program near Wiscasset ME may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing school. There are various important additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Wiscasset ME medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific 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
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Wiscasset ME area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Maine community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Maine 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 might wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Maine board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for many Wiscasset ME students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Wiscasset ME area and throughout Maine and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Wiscasset ME, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Maine or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Maine school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Wiscasset ME 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 schools you are looking at 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 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 good reputation within the Wiscasset ME medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Wiscasset ME hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Wiscasset ME?
Wiscasset is a town in and the seat of Lincoln County, Maine, United States. The municipality is located in the state of Maine's Mid Coast region. The population was 3,732 as of the 2010 census. Home to the Chewonki Foundation, Wiscasset is a tourist destination noted for early architecture.
In 1605, Samuel de Champlain is said to have landed here and exchanged gifts with the Indians. Situated on the tidal Sheepscot River, Wiscasset was first settled in 1663. The community was abandoned during the French and Indian Wars, and the King Philip's War in 1675 and then resettled around 1730. In 1760, it was incorporated as Pownalborough after Colonial Governor Thomas Pownall. In 1802, it resumed its original Abenaki name, Wiscasset, which means "coming out from the harbor but you don't see where."
In 1775, Captain Jack Bunker supposedly robbed the payroll of a British supply ship, Falmouth Packet, that was stowed in Wiscasset Harbor. He was chased for days and caught on Little Seal Island. His treasure reportedly has never been found.
Pick the Right RN Program near Wiscasset ME
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Wiscasset ME.
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