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Nursing Schools Near Me | How to Become an RN – Westover PA

How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Westover Pennsylvania

Westover PA surgical nurse assisting surgeonChoosing the best nursing college near Westover PA may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Westover PA Neonatal Nurse with babyRegistered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Westover PA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Westover PA area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Pennsylvania board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

Westover PA LPN assisting patientThere are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Pennsylvania approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Diplomas

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Westover PA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.

What to Ask Nursing Schools

geriatric nurse with elderly patient in Westover PAOnce you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Westover PA or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Westover PA for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Pennsylvania or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Check 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 as well. Also, contact the Pennsylvania school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Westover PA 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Westover PA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Westover PA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Nursing Online Classes

woman attending nursing school online in Westover PAAttending nursing colleges online is becoming a more preferred way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some Westover PA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Attending a Nursing School near Westover PA?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Westover Pennsylvania 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.

Westover, Pennsylvania

Westover is located in southern Clearfield County at 40°45′4″N 78°40′20″W / 40.75111°N 78.67222°W / 40.75111; -78.67222 (40.751017, -78.672239),[4] in the valley of Chest Creek, a north-flowing tributary of the West Branch Susquehanna River. The borough's southern border is the northern boundary of Cambria County. Pennsylvania Route 36 passes through the borough, leading north 7 miles (11 km) to Newburg and south 10 miles (16 km) to Patton.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Westover has a total area of 2.7 square miles (7.1 km2), of which 2.7 square miles (7.0 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.95%, is water.[3]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 458 people, 169 households, and 123 families residing in the borough. The population density was 166.7 people per square mile (64.3/km²). There were 182 housing units at an average density of 66.3 per square mile (25.6/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 98.91% White, 0.44% Asian, and 0.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.31% of the population.

Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Westover PA

Westover PA nursing studentPicking the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list 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 practicing nurse in Westover PA.

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