How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Woods Hole Massachusetts
Choosing the best nursing school near Woods Hole MA may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Woods Hole MA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Woods Hole MA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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 be sure to contact the Massachusetts board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Massachusetts approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, 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 attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Woods Hole MA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Woods Hole MA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Massachusetts and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up 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 make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Woods Hole MA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Massachusetts or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Massachusetts school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Woods Hole MA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Woods Hole MA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Woods Hole MA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Woods Hole MA students. Regarding tuition, many 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Woods Hole MA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Woods Hole Massachusetts area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Woods Hole, Massachusetts
Woods Hole is a census-designated place in the town of Falmouth in Barnstable County, Massachusetts, United States. It lies at the extreme southwest corner of Cape Cod, near Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands. The population was 781 at the 2010 census.
It is the site of several famous marine science institutions, including Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the Marine Biological Laboratory, the Woods Hole Research Center, NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center (which started the Woods Hole scientific community in 1871), the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, a USGS coastal and marine geology center, and the home campus of the Sea Education Association. It is also the site of United States Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England (formerly USCG Group Woods Hole), the Nobska Light lighthouse, and the terminus of the Steamship Authority ferry route between Cape Cod and the island of Martha's Vineyard.
Historically, Woods Hole included one of the few good harbors (along with Hyannis) on the southern side of Cape Cod (i.e. Great Harbor, contained by Penzance Point). The community became a center for whaling, shipping, and fishing, prior to its dominance today by tourism and marine research. At the end of the nineteenth century, Woods Hole was the home of the Pacific Guano Company, which produced fertilizer from guano imported from islands in the Pacific Ocean, the Caribbean, and the coast of South Carolina. After the firm went bankrupt in 1889, Long Neck–the peninsula on which their factory was located–was renamed Penzance Point and was developed with Shingle-Style summer homes for bankers and lawyers from New York and Boston. Notable property owners on Penzance Point at the beginning of the twentieth century included Seward Prosser of New York's Bankers Trust Company; Francis Bartow, a partner in J. P. Morgan and Company; Joseph Lee, a partner in Lee, Higginson & Co.; and Franklin A. Park, an executive of Singer Sewing Machine. Other notable businessmen established homes on Gansett Point, Nobska Point, and at Quissett Harbor, further from the village center.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Woods Hole MA
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Woods Hole MA.
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