How to Pick a Nursing Program in Dobson North Carolina
Choosing the right nursing program near Dobson NC may feel like a complicated endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Dobson NC healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Dobson NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Dobson NC. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 commonly a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Dobson NC or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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 be sure to get in touch with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Dobson NC. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be North Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dobson NC area. The duration 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 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 period of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in North Carolina. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain 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 Dobson NC home, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Dobson NC and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
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 confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Dobson NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Dobson NC area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the North Carolina school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Dobson NC 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Dobson NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Dobson NC area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program near Dobson NC
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Dobson NC.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a nurse, but additionally what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to organize a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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