How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Wattsville Virginia
Finding the right nursing school near Wattsville VA may seem like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Wattsville VA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing 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 often 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 available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Wattsville VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to check with the Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Wattsville VA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Wattsville VA or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Virginia 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 mentioned, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 make sure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Wattsville VA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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. Certain 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 provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Wattsville VA 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Wattsville VA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Wattsville VA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Wattsville VA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Wattsville VA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Wattsville 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.
Virginia State Route 175
State Route 175 (SR 175) is a primary state highway in the U.S. state of Virginia. Known as Chincoteague Road, the state highway runs 10.49 miles (16.88 km) from U.S. Route 13 (US 13) at Nash Corner east to Main Street in Chincoteague. SR 175 passes through the northeastern corner of Accomack County, providing the primary access to NASA's Wallops Flight Facility and both Chincoteague Island and the Virginia portion of Assateague Island. The route travels between the mainland and Chincoteague Island along the John B. Whealton Memorial Causeway.
In 1928, SR 520 was designated to run from US 13 in Oak Hall east toward Chincoteague Island, being extended onto the island in 1930. The route was extended south along US 13 and west to a railroad crossing west of Oak Hall in 1930. SR 520 became SR 175 in the 1933 Virginia state highway renumbering. SR 175 was extended south on Main Street in Chincoteague a year later and east on Beebe Road the following year, at which time a spur route known as SR 175Y was designated onto the northern portion of Main Street. The western terminus was moved to its current location in 1947, with the section west of US 13 becoming part of SR 703. SR 175 was routed to bypass Wallops Station to the south in 1954. In 1992, the section of SR 175 in Chincoteague, along with all of SR 175Y, was transferred to the secondary system. SR 175 was rerouted to bypass Marsh Island and a swing bridge over Chincoteague Channel with a new bascule bridge further north in 2010, tying into Main Street at Maddox Boulevard. The former swing bridge was demolished and a spur off the new bridge was built to serve Marsh Island.
SR 175 begins at an intersection with US 13 (Lankford Highway) at Nash Corner 4 miles (6.4 km) south of the Maryland state line. The state highway heads east as a two-lane undivided road through a mix of farmland and woodland. Upon reaching the community of Wattsville, the highway intersects SR 679 (Fleming Road) and SR 798 (Mill Dam Road). The road crosses over Wallops Pond, an impoundment of Wattsville Branch of Mosquito Creek, onto Wallops Island. SR 175 heads east, intersecting SR 798 (Atlantic Avenue) again, then curves north through Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuge and around NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, a rocket launch site operated as a subsidiary of Goddard Space Flight Center. While heading north parallel to one of the flight facility's runways, the state highway passes the NASA Visitor Center. SR 175 curves to the east as it passes the main entrance to the flight facility.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Wattsville VA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are various variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Wattsville VA.
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