How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Pinetown North Carolina
Finding the right nursing school near Pinetown NC may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Pinetown NC medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Pinetown NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse in Pinetown NC. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pinetown NC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pinetown NC. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be North Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pinetown NC area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as 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.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in North Carolina. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Pinetown NC home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for many 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 reduced, 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school relative to Pinetown NC and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 organization. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Pinetown NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Pinetown NC area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the North Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Pinetown 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Pinetown NC medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all Pinetown NC area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Pinetown NC
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Pinetown NC.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to consider questions you might be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what characteristics and talents you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to prepare several approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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