How to Select a Nursing School in New Church Virginia
Choosing the best nursing school near New Church VA may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the New Church VA medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 provide primary or specialty care services in New Church VA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in New Church VA. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Virginia 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 might desire 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in New Church VA or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in New Church VA. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the New Church VA area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three 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 instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Virginia to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Virginia. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your New Church VA home, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free 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 additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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 work and household obligations 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 Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school relative to New Church VA along with the expense of tuition are most likely 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 before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
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 organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near New Church VA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the New Church VA area school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Virginia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local New Church VA 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 colleges 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the New Church VA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all New Church VA area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near New Church VA
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose 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 licensed RN in New Church VA.
Why Did You Decide to Become an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but take down some ideas and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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