How to Pick a Nursing College near Winooski Vermont
Locating the best nursing school near Winooski VT may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Winooski VT hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help 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
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees available 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 two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Winooski VT area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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 fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Vermont board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Vermont approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Winooski VT area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Vermont or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Winooski VT or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Vermont and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Winooski VT for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Vermont or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Vermont school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Winooski VT healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Winooski VT healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Winooski VT hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Winooski VT students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very 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 hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Winooski VT?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Winooski Vermont 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.
Winooski /wɪˈnuːski/ is a city in Chittenden County, Vermont, United States. Located on the Winooski River, as of the 2010 U.S. Census the municipal population was 7,267. The city is the most densely populated municipality in northern New England, an area comprising the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. It is the smallest in area of Vermont's nine incorporated cities. As part of the Burlington, Vermont metropolitan area, it is bordered by Burlington, Colchester, and South Burlington.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), of which 1.4 square miles (3.7 km2) is land and 0.1 square mile (0.2 km2) (5.30%) is water.
As early as 750 AD, the Abenaki tribe lived along the shores of a cascading waterfall in a fertile river valley they called "winoskitegw," meaning “land of the wild onion.” Winooski's southern border is formed by the Winooski River, which is alternatively known as the Onion River.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Winooski VT
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose 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 create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Winooski VT.
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