How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Manassas Virginia
Finding the right nursing school near Manassas VA may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Manassas VA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Manassas VA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Manassas VA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by Virginia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize 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 normally a 4 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 may wish to progress 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 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Manassas VA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Manassas VA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, 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 commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Manassas VA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial 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 tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Virginia to make sure that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Virginia. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Manassas VA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease 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 Manassas VA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Manassas VA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Manassas VA area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Manassas 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Manassas VA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Manassas VA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Manassas VA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Manassas VA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but take down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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