How to Choose a Nursing School in Cedar Bluff Virginia
Searching for the best nursing program near Cedar Bluff VA may seem like a complicated 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 receive 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 contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Cedar Bluff VA healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Cedar Bluff VA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available to become a registered nurse in Cedar Bluff VA. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance 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 usually a 2 year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Virginia 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 commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Cedar Bluff VA or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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 can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Cedar Bluff VA. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice 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, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Virginia 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Cedar Bluff VA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Virginia to make certain that the training is state certified. In addition to 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 Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Virginia. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Cedar Bluff VA home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Cedar Bluff VA along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Cedar Bluff VA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Cedar Bluff VA area school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some regional Cedar Bluff VA 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Cedar Bluff VA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Cedar Bluff VA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Cedar Bluff VA
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select 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 licensed registered nurse in Cedar Bluff VA.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down a few concepts and talking points that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the recruiter.
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