How to Pick a Nursing College near Winterville Georgia
Choosing the right nursing college near Winterville GA may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Winterville GA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 typically 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 Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Winterville GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four 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 may wish 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining 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 received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative 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 finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Winterville GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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 minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Georgia 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 sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Winterville GA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Winterville GA or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Winterville GA 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Winterville GA 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Winterville GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Winterville GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Winterville GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Winterville Georgia 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.
Winterville is a city in Clarke County, Georgia, United States. Since 1991, Winterville has been the only municipality located wholly within Athens-Clarke County. The population was 1,122 at the 2010 census.
Winterville is located at 33°58′00″N 83°16′54″W / 33.966720°N 83.281669°W / 33.966720; -83.281669, a 6-mile (10 km)–drive from the University of Georgia. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.7 square miles (6.9 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,122 people, 485 households, and 318 families residing in the city. The population density was 431.5 people per square mile (162.6/km2). There were 529 housing units at an average density of 203.5 per square mile (76.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 73.35% White, 21.84% African American, 0.36% Asian, 0.27% Native American, 3.57% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 5.26% of the population.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Winterville GA
Selecting the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist 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 practicing nurse in Winterville GA.
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