How to Choose a Nursing College in Winton North Carolina
Selecting the best nursing program near Winton NC may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to investigate 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 care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Winton NC healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific 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
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Winton NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Winton NC. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Winton NC or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Winton NC. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit 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 kind of credential you pursue, it should be North Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Winton NC area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as 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
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in North Carolina. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Winton NC home, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within North Carolina and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Winton NC and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Winton 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) together with 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 Winton NC area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the North Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Winton 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 considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Winton NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Winton 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 as well. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN School near Winton NC
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Winton NC.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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