How to Choose a Nursing Program in Greenwood South Carolina
Finding the right nursing program in Greenwood SC may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional things to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system in Greenwood SC. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Greenwood SC with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Greenwood SC.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Greenwood SC healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Greenwood SC colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Greenwood SC board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with 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 pursue, it should be Greenwood SC approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration 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 need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Greenwood SC to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Greenwood SC healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Greenwood SC and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary 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 evaluate how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools in Greenwood SC.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the South Carolina school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Greenwood SC 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 schools 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Greenwood SC medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Greenwood SC clinical setting. Virtually all South Carolina nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course in Greenwood SC
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 licensed registered nurse in Greenwood SC.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to prepare a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
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