How to Pick a Nursing Program in Gatesville North Carolina
Locating the best nursing college near Gatesville NC may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Gatesville NC medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Gatesville NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Gatesville NC. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 may want 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Gatesville NC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the North Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Gatesville NC. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying 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 kind of credential you seek, it should be North Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly 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 earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Gatesville NC area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree in North Carolina. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Gatesville NC home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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 obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within North Carolina and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Gatesville NC as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Gatesville NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as 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 Gatesville NC area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the North Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Gatesville 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 programs you are considering 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Gatesville NC medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Gatesville NC area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Gatesville NC
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Gatesville NC.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to review questions you may be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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