How to Select a Nursing School near Wakefield Rhode Island
Choosing the right nursing college near Wakefield RI may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look 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 program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing school. There are several crucial additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Wakefield RI medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Wakefield RI area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Rhode Island community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Rhode Island colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Rhode Island board of nursing for any state mandates.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Wakefield RI students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Wakefield RI area and throughout Rhode Island and the United States. So it is important 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 as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Wakefield RI, which are oftentimes not offered 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. Certain 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Rhode Island or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Rhode Island school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wakefield RI 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 programs you are looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Wakefield RI healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Wakefield RI hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Wakefield RI?
Wakefield-Peacedale, Rhode Island
Wakefield-Peacedale is a census-designated place (CDP) in the town of South Kingstown in Washington County, Rhode Island, United States that includes the villages of Peace Dale and Wakefield. The population was 8,468 at the 2000 census.
At the 2000 census, there were 8,468 people, 3,221 households and 2,174 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 671.4/km² (1,739.4/mi²). There were 3,385 housing units at an average density of 268.4/km² (695.3/mi²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 90.34% White, 2.01% African American, 3.08% Native American, 1.23% Asian, 0.56% from other races, and 2.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.56% of the population.
There were 3,221 households of which 36.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.4% were married couples living together, 13.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.5% were non-families. 25.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.14.
Choose the Right RN School near Wakefield RI
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Wakefield RI.
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