How to Choose a Nursing School in Bennettsville South Carolina
Searching for the right nursing school near Bennettsville SC may seem like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Bennettsville SC medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering 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 higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Bennettsville SC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Bennettsville SC. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain 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 usually a two year program offered by South Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at South Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Bennettsville SC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the South Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Bennettsville SC. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be South 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 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Bennettsville SC area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for South Carolina to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in South Carolina. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Bennettsville SC home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within South Carolina and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Bennettsville SC along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Bennettsville SC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Bennettsville SC area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the South Carolina school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Bennettsville SC 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Bennettsville SC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Bennettsville SC area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College near Bennettsville SC
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Bennettsville SC.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and topics that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in South Carolina