How to Find the Right Nursing School in Raleigh North Carolina
Locating the right nursing college near Raleigh NC may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea 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 obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Raleigh NC healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Raleigh NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Raleigh NC. And to become an RN, a student must attend 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 summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- 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 position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four 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 wish 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 two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Raleigh NC or focus 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the North Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Raleigh NC. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing 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 needs to 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 course of study properly 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 obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Raleigh NC area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 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 can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree in North Carolina. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Raleigh NC home, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within North Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to Raleigh NC along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Raleigh NC.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Raleigh NC area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Raleigh 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 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Raleigh NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Raleigh NC area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Raleigh NC
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Raleigh NC.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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