How to Choose a Nursing College in Vale North Carolina
Locating the right nursing college near Vale NC may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate 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 price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Vale NC healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Vale NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse in Vale NC. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- 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 position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Vale NC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Vale NC. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Vale NC area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make certain that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree in North Carolina. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Vale NC home, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Vale NC as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Vale 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 essential that the Vale NC area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. 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 nearby Vale 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Vale NC medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Vale NC area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Course near Vale NC
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Vale NC.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of approaches about how you want to answer them. Since there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety 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 outstanding nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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