How to Find the Right Nursing College in Pickens South Carolina
Finding the best nursing school near Pickens SC may seem like a difficult project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional things to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Pickens SC medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Pickens SC, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Pickens SC. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by South Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at South Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Pickens SC or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the South Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Pickens SC. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second 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 finish. The advantage 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 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 guarantees that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Pickens SC area. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for South Carolina to make certain that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree in South Carolina. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online in your Pickens SC home, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within South Carolina and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school relative to Pickens SC and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 verify that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Pickens SC.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Pickens SC area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Carolina or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the South Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Pickens SC 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 Pickens SC medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all Pickens 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. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Pickens SC
Choosing the right registered nursing program is arguably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Pickens SC.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. Among the questions that hiring managers typically ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare some strategies about how you want to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can assist you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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