How to Select a Nursing College in Roanoke Rapids North Carolina
Selecting the right nursing program near Roanoke Rapids NC may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Roanoke Rapids NC medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Roanoke Rapids NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Roanoke Rapids NC. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare 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) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Roanoke Rapids NC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Roanoke Rapids NC. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to 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 type 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 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Roanoke Rapids NC area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make certain that the education 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in North Carolina. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Roanoke Rapids NC home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within North Carolina and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school relative to Roanoke Rapids NC as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Roanoke Rapids NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Roanoke Rapids NC area school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some nearby Roanoke Rapids 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 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 unhappy 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 Roanoke Rapids NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Roanoke Rapids NC area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Program near Roanoke Rapids NC
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Roanoke Rapids NC.
Why Did You Want to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in North Carolina