How to Find the Right Nursing School in Bridgeton North Carolina
Selecting the best nursing college near Bridgeton NC may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bridgeton NC medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Bridgeton NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Bridgeton NC. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bridgeton NC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bridgeton NC. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be North Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bridgeton NC area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in 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 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 own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in North Carolina. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Bridgeton NC home, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within North Carolina and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Bridgeton NC as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Bridgeton NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Bridgeton NC area school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the North Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Bridgeton NC healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 favorable reputation within the Bridgeton NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Bridgeton NC area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program near Bridgeton NC
Selecting the right registered nursing school is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bridgeton NC.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that recruiters typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should ready a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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