How to Select a Nursing Degree Program near TRUE West Virginia
Choosing the right nursing school near TRUE WV may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as TRUE WV hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option 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 as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the TRUE WV area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at 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 may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after attaining 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 earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be West Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at TRUE WV area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many TRUE WV students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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 work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near TRUE WV or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout West Virginia and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in TRUE WV for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the West Virginia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some TRUE WV 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the TRUE WV healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with TRUE WV hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near TRUE WV?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater TRUE West Virginia area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
United States Senate election in West Virginia, 2018
The 2018 United States Senate election in West Virginia will take place on November 6, 2018, to elect a member of the United States Senate to represent the State of West Virginia, concurrently with other elections to the United States Senate, elections to the United States House of Representatives, and various state and local elections.
On May 8, 2018, the Republican primary voters of the state nominated West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey as the Republican candidate. Incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is running for reelection to a second full term.
Once a Democratic stronghold at the presidential level, West Virginia has become one of, if not the most, conservative states in the United States. In 2008, John McCain defeated Barack Obama 55-42 and In 2012, Mitt Romney defeated President Obama 62-35. In 2016, Donald Trump won the state by a greater than 40-point margin against Hillary Clinton (68-26).
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near TRUE WV
Selecting the right nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in TRUE WV.
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