How to Choose a Nursing School in Danville West Virginia
Finding the best nursing school near Danville WV may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Danville WV medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Danville WV, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Danville WV. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by West Virginia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at West Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Danville WV or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Danville WV. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be West Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum 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 instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Danville WV area. The length of the training program 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for West Virginia to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in West Virginia. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Danville WV home, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more 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 job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within West Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Danville WV as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 agency. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Danville WV.
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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Danville WV area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the West Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Danville WV healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 dissatisfied 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 Danville WV healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Danville WV area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Danville WV
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Danville WV.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should prepare some ideas about how you want to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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