How to Choose a Nursing College near Vienna Virginia
Searching for the right nursing program near Vienna VA may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Vienna VA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Vienna VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Virginia 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Vienna VA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 amount of training required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for 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 is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Vienna VA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Vienna VA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Vienna VA 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Vienna VA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Vienna VA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Vienna VA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Vienna VA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Vienna 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.
Vienna (/viˈɛnə/) is a town in Fairfax County, Virginia, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, it had a population of 15,687. Significantly more people live in ZIP codes with the Vienna postal addresses (22180, 22181, and 22182) bordered approximately by Interstate 66 on the south, Interstate 495 on the east, Route 7 to the north, and Hunter Mill road to the west.
In August 2013, CNNMoney and Money magazine ranked Vienna, VA third on its list of the 100 best places to live in the United States. In addition to highly ranked public schools, its assets include a downtown with many small businesses, a Washington Metro station with large parking garages (the western terminus of the Orange Line) just south of the town, and a portion of the Washington & Old Dominion Railroad Regional Park hiker/biker trail cutting through the center of the town. Tysons Corner, a residential, commercial and shopping district, is nearby, as is Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts.
Non-native settlement in the region dates to ca. 1740. In 1754, prominent soldier and land owner Colonel Charles Broadwater settled within the town boundaries. Broadwater's son-in-law, John Hunter built the first recorded house there in 1767, naming it Ayr Hill (recalling his birthplace, Ayr, Scotland.) That name was subsequently applied to the tiny, developing community. The name of the town was changed in the 1850s, when a doctor named William Hendrick settled there on the condition that the town would rename itself after his hometown, Phelps, New York, then known as Vienna.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Vienna VA
Selecting the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Vienna VA.
More Awesome Locations in Virginia
Business Results 1 - 10 of 113