Questions about Nursing

Question:
Are there any nursing programs without any prerequisites that will help pay for my education? Are there any programs able to help those who are considered poor?


Answer:
I am delighted that you are considering nursing as a career. There are scholarship programs available to pursue a career in nursing. Go to the American Nurses Association, click on CMAs (Constituent member associations) and when that opens, click on the Illinois State Nurses Association and they will have some scholarship information available for you. In addition, go to the Web site for Health Resources and Services, HRSA.gov. When you are in that Web site, click the Search icon and you will see opportunities for funding.

The Nurse Reinvestment Act provides additional funding for nurses. Contact your local Federal legislator's office and they should assist in exploring your options.

It is important not to limit yourself to funds only designated for nurses. There is a Web site called Scholarship.org which identifies certain available funds.

Although make an appointment with your college of choice to see what scholarships they offer. Please contact me again if you are having problems or require more information.

Susan Fraley
Executive Director
Foundation of New York State Nurses Association, Inc.
518-456-7858 x29
sfraley@foundationnysnurses.org



Question: I want to know how nursing school is, I've heard its hard and want to know what makes it so hard. Also, what is it like to apply what you know in the actual field. Also how is residency like?


Answer: I am glad you may be considering a career in nursing! Nursing school is difficult because you need to learn subjects such as math, science, chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology. This does require serious study but it is very rewarding and diverse. There are so many fields within nursing, you can choose what suits you the best.

There are classroom lectureexperiences as well as labs and actual clinical experiences in hospitals, in public health and so many other areas. This will help you know what you like the most.

Becoming a nurse practitioner takes additional study, again a blend of classroom and field experience. The length of time varies by field and your experience.

It is also rewarding to make a difference in people's lives!
Susan Fraley
Executive Director
Foundation of New York State Nurses Association, Inc.
518-456-7858 x29
sfraley@foundationnysnurses.org

Question: Is nursing school hard?

Yes, you have to study hard. You will be
responsible for caring for very sick people and it is important that you
study hard so that you become wise. You almost have to think about taking 4 years of your life and commiting it to studying, learning alot about people, interacting with people at their greatest need, and having the opportunity to have a tremendous impact on their lives. Is it hard? YES, but so rewarding!

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: How do you apply what you know?

Answer: For the first two years of your college, you will be taking basic courses (i.e. english, history, science courses, etc). The last 2 years are primarily clinical courses. During these clinical courses, you are actually in a clinic, hospital, home setting, etc, caring for people. During these clinical courses, your nursing instructor will be watching you closely, making suggestions on improvement and encouraging you all the way. The clinical opportunities really give you the chance to apply what you have learned in the class room. Also, schools of nursing have a skills lab and you can practice many skills on mannequins before doing a skill on a live person.

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: What is a residency like?

Answer: Many hospitals today have a nursing internship or residency program for new graduates. I would highly recommend that you only apply to work at hospitals that have these programs. The amount of time you spend in one of these programs can be from 4 - 12 weeks. They will vary from hospital to hospital. But, you will be paired-up with another nurse who will assist you in the beginning of your career as a nurse. You may also attend special courses, as well. Make sure you understand how long the new graduate program will be. You don't want to get short-changed here.

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: After graduating with a bachelors of science degree in nursing (BSN), when should I go to graduate school?

Answer: This really varies on your career goals. For example, if you plan to be a nursing faculty member, you would most likely want to go directly into a fast-track PhD or Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) program. This would allow you to get your advanced degree and begin teaching. Many nurses feel that they need a year or two of clinical experience before going back to graduate school. Nurses who
want to become nurse practitioners (NP) many times feel that those years right after their undergraduate studies were invaluable, in regards to giving them experience. When they went on for their NP, they had
excellent clinical experience and skills. However, many people do go
right from their BSN into a master's program. Again, depends on your
career goals.

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: Should I become a nurse, then a doctor?

Answer: I know of people who went to 4 years of nursing school and then decided to become a doctor. You can do that, but it is many extra years of schooling. If you think you want to become a physician, I would suggest that you plan and prepare to go the medical school route.

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: Is a BSN degree better than an associates in nursing degree (AD)?

Answer: Here at AACN, we strongly believe that the BSN is the best way to go. There is no other healthcare profession that offers an AD in its field. People who are in AD programs report that it takes them 4 or 5 years to finish anyway, so why not go the BSN route?

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: Will hospitals take new RN's into Labor and Delivery?

Answer: This will vary from hospital to hospital. It will depend on their needs. There are hospitals that will place new RN's into an internship/residency program and train them in labor and delivery. They are out there, you might have to look a few places to find them. Again, make sure they will give you plenty of training.

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: Is it worth getting a master's degree? Will you be paid more?

Answer: Getting a master's degree really depends on your career goals. If you want to teach, be an NP, hold a leadership position in an
institution/organiztion, you have to have an advanced degree. Will you
get paid more? Depends. If you want to go into teaching at the
college/university level, you will not be paid as much as if you worked in
a large hospital. With any other field, the more education you have,
generally, you will have more options to work in specific areas and have
opportunities to climb the professional ladder. You can never have too
much education.

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: I am a biology major. Could I switch and become an RN? Could I go on to graduate school?

Answer: There are many "second-degree" students in nursing programs across the country. These are people who already have a bachelor's degree in biology or communication, etc. They can take a very intensive 18-month to 2 year study in nursing and come out with a master's degree. There are many programs like this across the country. This is a very popular program. It is very competitive to get in. So, keep your grades high.

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: I would like to become a travelling nurse (NP in peds). What is that like?

Answer: Travelling nursing is very popular. It is a great way to see
the country and to use your skills as a nurse in a place that has a real
shortage. There are various travel agencies and their requirements
vary--some will take nurses with only 1 year of experience and others 2-3 years. These agencies hire a variety of nurses--NP, clinical nurse
specialists (CNS), nursing educators, staff nurses in a variety of
clinical settings. So, get your experience and go for it!


Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu


Question: What is the difference between a nurse practitioner (NP) and a physician's assistant (PA)?

Both the NP and PA fields are very popular today, as it allows both to
work independently, most of the time. There are some differences, in
regards to various state license laws, but generally both have
prescription privileges and can see patients on their own. They both can
do physical exams, order blood work and interpret blood work, x-rays, CT scans, etc. Depending on the clinical interest, it is not unusual to see an NP or PA work in a pediatric office, OB/GYN clinic, working
side-by-side with a physician. Many NP's and PA's work in hospital
settings, such as in cardiac, respiratory, oncology, etc. PA's also work
with orthopedic surgeons, cardiac/pulmonary surgeons and assist in the operating room. There are many similarities between the NP and
PA--numbers of years in school, etc. Nurse practitioners, however, have
attended nursing schools and have gone on to do further schooling, whether obtaining a Master's degree or post-Master's degree. The NP has been schooled with nursing theory and looking at every phase of the patient (not just physical, but psychologically, socially, and spiritually). The NP is licensed to practice nursing, and the PA is licensed to practice medicine with physician supervision. For more information on the NP role, go to www.aanp.org and for the PA role, go to www.aapa.org

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu


Question: How do I get into a good nursing program after I finish with general education courses?

Answer: Getting into a nursing program is very competitive today. Keep your grades up! If there is a particular school of nursing that you are
interested in, contact them and see what their prerequisites are. Take
those classes and do well in each of them. Stay connected with the
admissions office at the school of your choice.

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

Question: I am interested in volunteering for hands-on experience.

Answer: Volunteering is so cool and really great! It gives you an opportunity to give back. There are certainly alot of places you can volunteer at. What do you like? Do you like working with children? Then volunteer at a children's camp this summer or work in an after-school program in teaching kids how to play a sport, paint a picture, or read. Maybe you like older folks. There are tremendous opportunities to volunteer in long-term care facilities. Again, what are your interests.......volunteer in a place that offers you opportunities to use your gifts and talents.

Pam Malloy, RN, MN, OCN
ELNEC Project Director
American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN)
One Dupont Circle, NW, Suite 530
Washington, DC 20036-1120
202-463-6930, Ext. 238 (voice mail)
202-785-8320 (fax)
pmalloy@aacn.nche.edu

 

 

 
courtesy of Saint Michael's College
   
 
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