How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Stony Point North Carolina
Choosing the best nursing program near Stony Point NC may seem like a complex project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Stony Point NC healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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 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 Stony Point NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Stony Point NC. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Stony Point NC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate 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 credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Stony Point NC. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be North Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Stony Point NC area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make sure that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in North Carolina. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Stony Point NC home, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably 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 select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Stony Point NC and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Stony Point NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Stony Point NC area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Stony Point 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Stony Point NC medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Stony Point NC area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Stony Point NC
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Stony Point NC.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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