How to Find the Right Nursing School in Dulles Virginia
Choosing the best nursing school in Dulles VA may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job 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 medical care delivery system in Dulles VA. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Dulles VA with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Dulles VA.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Dulles VA healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Dulles VA 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 desire 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 generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Dulles VA board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Dulles VA approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Dulles VA to make certain that the training 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 may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Dulles VA healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Dulles VA and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. 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 measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Dulles VA.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Virginia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Dulles VA 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Dulles VA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Dulles VA clinical environment. Almost all Virginia nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course in Dulles VA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare 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 ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Dulles VA.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of standard interview questions, so you should organize several ideas about how you would like to address them. Because there are so many factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the profession interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but take down several concepts and topics that relate to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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