How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Whitehall New York
Selecting the right nursing school near Whitehall NY may feel like a complex 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 need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regretably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing school. There are many essential additional aspects to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Whitehall NY medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Whitehall NY area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by New York community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at New York 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 may 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 commonly 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 received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the New York board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Whitehall NY students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Whitehall NY area and throughout New York and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Whitehall NY, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for New York or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the New York school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Whitehall NY healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Whitehall NY healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Whitehall NY hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Whitehall NY?
Whitehall, New York
During the late 17th century, the area was a staging ground for raids between English and French colonies. Whitehall was first called "Skenesborough" in 1759 when it was settled by a land grant to a British officer, Philip Skene (1725-after 1785), who later returned to England, and who was subsequently declared an enemy of the State of New York for his land dealings. During the French and Indian War, the town was one of two major routes connecting the English and French Colonies.
During the American Revolution, the village, Skenesborough, was captured by American forces in 1774. Benedict Arnold under Philip Schuyler built a fleet of vessels to confront British forces at Valcour Island (thus the claim that this is the birthplace of the U.S. Navy). The surviving American vessels returned here to be destroyed in order to keep them from falling into enemy hands. The next year John Burgoyne led his forces through this area en route to the Battle of Saratoga. After the war, the town's name was changed to Whitehall.
During the War of 1812 the area was used to build ships to battle British forces on Lake Champlain, culminating at the Battle of Plattsburgh. In 1823, the Champlain Canal was completed to Whitehall. The Rensselaer and Saratoga Railroad was extended to Whitehall in 1848. During the second half of the 19th Century, the silk industry grew important in the town.
Choose the Right RN Program near Whitehall NY
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Whitehall NY.
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