How to Pick a Nursing Program in Troy Virginia
Searching for the best nursing school near Troy VA may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea 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 proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Troy VA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Troy VA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Troy VA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Virginia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 might desire 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 usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Troy 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Troy VA. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Troy 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 obtain 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 required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 Virginia to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree in Virginia. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Troy VA home, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. And so if your job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. 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 lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school relative to Troy VA as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Troy VA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Troy VA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Troy 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Troy VA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Troy VA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School near Troy VA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding 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 hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Troy VA.
Why Did You Choose to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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