How to Choose a Nursing College in Spruce Pine North Carolina
Searching for the best nursing college near Spruce Pine NC may seem like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at 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 Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Spruce Pine NC medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Spruce Pine NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Spruce Pine 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 just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ 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 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 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Spruce Pine NC or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Spruce Pine NC. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Spruce Pine NC area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in North Carolina. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Spruce Pine NC home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, 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 choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Spruce Pine NC along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Spruce Pine NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Spruce Pine NC area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies 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 contact some regional Spruce Pine 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 schools 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Spruce Pine NC medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Spruce Pine 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 a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Spruce Pine NC
Deciding on the right registered nursing college is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Spruce Pine NC.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should ready several approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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