How to Select a Nursing School in Hurricane West Virginia
Finding the best nursing college near Hurricane WV may seem like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many important additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the Hurricane WV medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Hurricane WV, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Hurricane WV. And in order 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 advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by West Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at West Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Hurricane WV or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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 change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN in Hurricane WV. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically 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 option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be West Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Hurricane WV area. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for West Virginia to make sure 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 other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree in West Virginia. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Hurricane WV home, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities 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 busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout West Virginia and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school relative to Hurricane WV along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools near Hurricane WV.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the Hurricane WV area school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the West Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Hurricane WV 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 finish 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 superb reputation within the Hurricane WV medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Hurricane WV area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Hurricane WV
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Hurricane WV.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to consider questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the personal reasons you might have for being a registered nurse, but also what attributes and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready several strategies about how you would like to answer them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but take down some concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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