How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Lamar South Carolina
Choosing the best nursing school near Lamar SC may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Lamar SC healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 Lamar SC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Lamar 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 continue on to obtain 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 South Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at South Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Lamar 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the South Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Lamar SC. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 1 year, 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 complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be South Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum properly 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 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 Lamar SC area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for South Carolina to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in South Carolina. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Lamar SC home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily 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 family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within South Carolina and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Lamar SC along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools near Lamar 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Lamar SC area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the South Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Lamar 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Lamar SC medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Lamar SC area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Lamar SC
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Lamar SC.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what characteristics and abilities you have that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
Some Other Cities in South Carolina