Category Archives: West Virginia

Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Thornton WV

How to Choose a Nursing School near Thornton West Virginia

Thornton WV pediatric nurse holding babySearching for the best nursing college near Thornton WV may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Thornton WV Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Thornton WV hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. 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 common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Thornton WV area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at 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 may desire 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the West Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

Thornton WV geriatric nurse with patientThere are principally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be West Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Training

In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Thornton WV area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.

Nursing Online Classes

female student attending nursing school online in Thornton WVEnrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Thornton WV students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Schools

Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Thornton WV or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within West Virginia and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Thornton WV for non-accredited schools.
  • 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) 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the West Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Thornton WV healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Thornton WV healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Thornton WV hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Thornton WV?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Thornton 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.

Thornton, West Virginia

Thornton is an unincorporated community in Taylor County, West Virginia. Thornton is located on Three Fork Creek along the Northwestern Turnpike (US 50) at its junction with County Route 7. Thornton also hosts an annual Pumpkin Festival. Thornton contains a Volunteer Fire Department, Post Office, and Taylor County's Judge Alan Moats' residence.

Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Thornton WV

Thornton WV Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyEnrolling in the ideal nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various 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 financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Thornton WV.

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