How to Choose a Nursing College in Sparta North Carolina
Locating the right nursing program in Sparta NC may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Picking the least costly 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 things to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system in Sparta NC. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Sparta NC with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Sparta NC.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Sparta NC healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Sparta NC colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified 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 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Sparta NC board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Sparta NC approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have 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, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Sparta NC to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Sparta NC healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Sparta NC and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Sparta NC.
- 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. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, check with the North Carolina school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Sparta 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Sparta NC healthcare 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 Sparta NC clinical setting. Virtually all North Carolina nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN School in Sparta NC
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Sparta NC.
Why Did You Want to Be an RN?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not only the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of general interview questions, so you must ready some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down some concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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