How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Vienna West Virginia
Finding the right nursing college near Vienna WV may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Vienna WV medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Vienna WV, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Vienna WV. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by West Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at West 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Vienna WV or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Vienna WV. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be West Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Vienna WV area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for West Virginia to make certain that the training course 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 other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in West Virginia. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Vienna WV home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within West Virginia and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school relative to Vienna WV along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Vienna WV.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 important that the Vienna WV area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for West Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the West Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Vienna WV 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 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 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 good reputation within the Vienna WV medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Vienna WV area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Degree near Vienna WV
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within 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 healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Vienna WV.
Why Did You Want to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not merely the personal reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the strengths you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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