How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Rockingham North Carolina
Selecting the best nursing college in Rockingham NC may seem like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Rockingham NC. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Rockingham NC with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Rockingham NC.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Rockingham NC medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Rockingham NC 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 want 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Rockingham NC board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Rockingham NC approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have 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 instruction directed and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Rockingham NC to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Rockingham NC healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with 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 probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Rockingham NC and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Rockingham NC.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Rockingham NC 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 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 good reputation within the Rockingham NC medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Rockingham NC clinical environment. Virtually all North Carolina nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program in Rockingham NC
Selecting the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are various factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Rockingham NC.
Why Did You Desire to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What made you decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but additionally what attributes and talents you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a significant number of typical interview questions, so you should ready a number of approaches about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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