How to Find the Right Nursing School in Staunton Virginia
Selecting the right nursing college near Staunton VA may seem like a formidable project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional things to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Staunton VA medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Staunton VA, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse in Staunton VA. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Staunton VA or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Staunton VA. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Staunton VA area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 minimal amount of training directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and attain a nursing degree in Virginia. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online in your Staunton VA home, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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. So if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school relative to Staunton VA and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final decision, 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Staunton VA.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Staunton VA area school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Staunton 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 colleges you are looking at 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Staunton VA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Staunton VA area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program near Staunton VA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Staunton VA.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that recruiters often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to discover is not only the private reasons you might have for becoming a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and abilities you possess that make you good at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you need to ready a number of strategies about how you want to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you as well as the abilities you have that make you an outstanding nurse and the best choice for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down several ideas and topics that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the recruiter.
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