How to Select a Nursing Program near Wake Forest North Carolina
Searching for the right nursing program near Wake Forest NC may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially 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 critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Wake Forest NC hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular 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
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And 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 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wake Forest NC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 North Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Wake Forest NC area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive 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 that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for North Carolina or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with 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 may be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Wake Forest NC or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Wake Forest NC for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. Many 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 readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the North Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Wake Forest 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 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Wake Forest NC medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Wake Forest NC hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Wake Forest NC students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Wake Forest NC?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wake Forest North Carolina 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.
Wake Forest, North Carolina
Wake Forest is a town in Franklin and Wake counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina; located almost entirely in Wake County, it lies just north of the state capital, Raleigh. The population was 30,117 at the 2010 census, up from 12,588 at the 2000 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the city's population to be 34,752 as of July 1, 2013. In 2007, the town was listed by Forbes magazine as the 20th fastest growing suburb in America, with a 73.2 percent increase in population between 2000 and 2006. Wake Forest was the original home of Wake Forest University for 122 years before it moved to Winston-Salem in 1956.
The US Office of Management and Budget also includes Wake Forest as a part of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 1,998,808 as of U.S. Census 2012 Population Estimates. Effective June 6, 2003 the Office of Management and Budget redefined the Federal Statistical Areas and dismantled what had been for decades the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill, MSA and split them into two separate MSAs even though the region still functions as a single metropolitan area.
In 1832, Dr. Calvin Jones, originally from New England, bought 615 acres (2.49 km2) of forested land in Wake County, North Carolina. The sparsely populated area became known as the Forest of Wake, or Wake Forest. Jones sold his farm to the North Carolina Baptist Convention for $2,000, who opened the Wake Forest Manual Labor Institute, later Wake Forest College, on the site. The Raleigh & Gaston Railroad, completed in 1840, established a depot in nearby Forestville that stimulated the school and surrounding village. College leaders convinced the railroad to move the depot even closer to the college in 1874, leading to more economic development. This community was incorporated as the "Town of Wake Forest College" in 1880. In 1909, the word "College" was removed from the name of the town. The college moved to the much larger city of Winston-Salem in 1956.Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary began offering classes on the original campus of Wake Forest University in 1950, and occupied the entire campus when the university completed its move.
Select the Right Nursing College near Wake Forest NC
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick 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 licensed RN in Wake Forest NC.
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