How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Greenville North Carolina
Choosing the right nursing college near Greenville NC may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Greenville NC healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing 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 more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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 Greenville NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Greenville NC. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Greenville NC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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 vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Greenville NC. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Greenville NC area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 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 training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in North Carolina. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Greenville NC home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school relative to Greenville NC as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Greenville NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Greenville NC area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the North Carolina school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Greenville NC healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Greenville NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Greenville NC area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Greenville NC
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Greenville NC.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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