How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Mount Pleasant North Carolina
Locating the best nursing school near Mount Pleasant NC may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Mount Pleasant NC medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help 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. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Mount Pleasant NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Mount Pleasant NC. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually 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 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 expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at North Carolina 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 may want 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Mount Pleasant NC or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Mount Pleasant NC. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Mount Pleasant NC area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree in North Carolina. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Mount Pleasant NC home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities 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 busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within North Carolina and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Mount Pleasant NC along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools near Mount Pleasant 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Mount Pleasant NC area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Mount Pleasant 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 programs you are considering 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Mount Pleasant NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Mount Pleasant NC area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Mount Pleasant NC
Picking the right registered nursing college is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Mount Pleasant NC.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you must prepare several strategies about how you want to respond to them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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