How to Choose a Nursing Program in Clifton Virginia
Finding the right nursing college near Clifton VA may seem like a difficult undertaking, 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 need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several key additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Clifton VA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Clifton VA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Clifton VA. 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 two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities 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 comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Clifton VA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Clifton VA. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 Clifton VA area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have 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 minimum period of training mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Virginia to make certain that the training 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 might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Virginia. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Clifton VA home, this alternative may be a more practical solution 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 supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. 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 busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Clifton VA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first 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 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 recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Clifton VA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Clifton VA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Clifton VA 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 programs you are looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Clifton VA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Clifton VA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course near Clifton VA
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you choose an RN college 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 create 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Clifton VA.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not only the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize a number of ideas about how you would like to answer them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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