How to Pick a Nursing Program in Apex North Carolina
Locating the right nursing school near Apex NC may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Apex NC healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Apex NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Apex NC. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Apex NC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Apex NC. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option 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, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be North Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Apex NC area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make sure that the education 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in North Carolina. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Apex NC home, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Apex NC as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
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 ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Apex NC.
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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Apex NC area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the North Carolina school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Apex NC 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 colleges 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 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Apex NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Apex NC area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Apex NC
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Apex NC.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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