How to Pick a Nursing School in Kannapolis North Carolina
Selecting the right nursing program near Kannapolis NC 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, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Kannapolis NC medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Kannapolis NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Kannapolis NC. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Kannapolis NC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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 change from state to state, so make sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Kannapolis NC. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 another 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Kannapolis NC area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in North Carolina. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Kannapolis NC home, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina 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 already discussed, the site of the school relative to Kannapolis NC 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 decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools near Kannapolis NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Kannapolis NC area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Kannapolis NC 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 programs you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Kannapolis NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Kannapolis NC area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Kannapolis NC
Selecting the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Kannapolis NC.
Why Did You Decide to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Given that there are so many factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down some ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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