How to Enroll In a Nursing Program in Summersville West Virginia
Searching for the best nursing school near Summersville WV may feel like a challenging project, 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 obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Summersville WV healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Summersville WV, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse in Summersville WV. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by West Virginia community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at West Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner in Summersville WV or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired 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. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the West Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Summersville WV. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be West Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Summersville WV area. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential 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 recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for West Virginia to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with 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.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree in West Virginia. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online in your Summersville WV home, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout West Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school relative to Summersville WV along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Summersville WV.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Summersville WV area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for West Virginia or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the West Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Summersville WV 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 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Summersville WV medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Summersville WV area nursing degree programs require a specific 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 regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN College near Summersville WV
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 Summersville WV.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to consider questions you could be asked. Among the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should prepare some strategies about how you want to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional 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 pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reading through sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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