How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Locust Grove Virginia
Choosing the right nursing school near Locust Grove VA may seem like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Locust Grove VA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job 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 specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Locust Grove VA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Locust Grove VA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by Virginia community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as 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 in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Virginia 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 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 commonly a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Locust Grove VA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Locust Grove VA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Locust Grove VA area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Virginia to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree in Virginia. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Locust Grove VA home, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Virginia and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Locust Grove VA along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the field.
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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Locust Grove VA.
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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Locust Grove VA area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Locust Grove 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Locust Grove VA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Locust Grove VA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Locust Grove VA
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Locust Grove VA.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and talents you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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