How to Choose a Nursing Program in Southern Pines North Carolina
Selecting the right nursing college near Southern Pines NC may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to explore before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Southern Pines NC medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Southern Pines NC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Southern Pines NC. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize 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 expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Southern Pines NC or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Southern Pines NC. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively 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 earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Southern Pines NC area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must 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 requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for North Carolina to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in North Carolina. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Southern Pines NC home, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start 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 necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school relative to Southern Pines NC along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Southern Pines NC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Southern Pines NC area school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the North Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Southern Pines NC healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN schools 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Southern Pines NC medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Southern Pines NC area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of 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 School near Southern Pines NC
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you select 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Southern Pines NC.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to consider questions you may be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to answer them. Since there are numerous variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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