How to Pick a Nursing School in Shawsville Virginia
Locating the best nursing college near Shawsville VA may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Shawsville VA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the care 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. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Shawsville VA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Shawsville VA. 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 advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by Virginia community colleges. It readies 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 attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Shawsville VA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary 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 available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Shawsville VA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Shawsville VA area. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Virginia to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires 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 favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in Virginia. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Shawsville VA home, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many 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 may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary 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 Shawsville VA as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Shawsville 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) in addition to 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 Shawsville VA area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Shawsville VA 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 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 favorable reputation within the Shawsville VA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Shawsville VA area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Shawsville VA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Shawsville VA.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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