RN Nursing Programs in Dorchester SC 29437

How to Find the Right Nursing School in Dorchester South Carolina

Dorchester SC Registered NurseSearching for the right nursing program near Dorchester SC may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional things to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Dorchester SC medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 Dorchester SC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Dorchester SC. And in order 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 achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by South Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at South Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Dorchester SC or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the South Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

RN assisting surgeon in Dorchester SCThere are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Dorchester SC. The one that can be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, 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 South Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Dorchester SC area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 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 instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for South Carolina to make certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.

Nursing Online Degrees

attending nursing school online in Dorchester SCAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more favored way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in South Carolina. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Dorchester SC home, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

What to Ask Nurse Schools

Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within South Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school relative to Dorchester SC and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.

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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Dorchester SC.

Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Dorchester SC area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.

Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the South Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Dorchester SC 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 schools you are looking at 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 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 Dorchester SC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.

Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Dorchester SC area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Select the Right RN Degree near Dorchester SC

Picking the right registered nursing program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you pick an RN college 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 produce 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 dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Dorchester SC.

Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?

When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to review questions you could be asked. One of the questions that recruiters typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.

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