How to Select a Nursing College in Greenville South Carolina
Finding the right nursing program near Greenville SC may seem like a difficult project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Greenville SC medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Greenville SC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Greenville SC. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve 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 typically a 2 year program offered by South Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn 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 four year program offered at South Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Greenville SC or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the South Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Greenville SC. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering 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 seek, it needs to be South 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Greenville SC area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for South Carolina to make sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and earn a nursing degree in South Carolina. Certain schools will require attending 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 remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Greenville SC home, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly 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 select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school relative to Greenville SC and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points 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 evaluate how your selection 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Greenville SC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Greenville SC area school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the South Carolina school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Greenville SC 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 programs 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Greenville SC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Greenville SC area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Greenville SC
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Greenville SC.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you should organize a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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