How to Pick a Nursing Program in Greenville Virginia
Searching for the right nursing college near Greenville VA may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Greenville VA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing 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 advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Greenville VA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Greenville VA. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Virginia community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Greenville VA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Greenville VA. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Virginia 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 the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Greenville VA area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 Virginia to make certain that the education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree in Virginia. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Greenville VA home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Greenville VA along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 agency. In addition to helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Greenville VA.
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) in addition to 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 imperative that the Greenville VA area school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Greenville VA 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 superb reputation within the Greenville VA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Greenville VA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Greenville VA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Greenville VA.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's important to review questions you may be asked. Among the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What drove you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what qualities and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready several ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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