How to Pick a Nursing School near Waxhaw North Carolina
Choosing the right nursing program near Waxhaw NC may feel like a complicated project, especially 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 need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Waxhaw NC hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Waxhaw NC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be North Carolina approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Waxhaw NC area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the 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 recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Waxhaw NC students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little 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 busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Waxhaw NC or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is essential to reduce 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 price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Waxhaw NC for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Waxhaw 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 colleges 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 unhappy 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 Waxhaw NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Waxhaw NC hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Waxhaw NC?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Waxhaw 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.
Waxhaw, North Carolina
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 11.54 square miles (29.9 km2). Waxhaw is located north of Lancaster, South Carolina and lies about twelve miles south of the Charlotte city limit.
Waxhaw is located in the historic region called the Waxhaws and named after the indigenous Native American tribe that lived there prior to colonial settlement. Waxhaw is in the Piedmont region of North Carolina, which is a wooded area with rolling hills. This region is where gold was first discovered in the United States. The Howie Gold Mine is not far from the city limits.
The original inhabitants of the region were a Native American people group known alternately as either the Wysacky or the Waxhaws. The first European to record contacting the group was the Spanish conquistador Juan Pardo. In 1711 the Waxhaw aided the colonists of North Carolina in their war against the Tuscarora, a decision which antagonized the Tuscaroras Iroquoian allies in New York who subsequently began raiding the Waxhaw tribe. These raids continued until 1715 when the Waxhaw joined the Yamasee war effort against the colony of South Carolina. The tribes involvement in the Yamasee War led to their destruction at the hands of South Carolina's Catawba allies and the freeing of their land for European settlement. The area was first settled by European-Americans in the mid-eighteenth century. Most settlers were of German and Scots-Irish origin. Settlers became subsistence farmers and were known for being independent. Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, was born nearby in 1767. There is some disagreement as to which of the Carolinas was his birthplace because of the proximity of the border.
Select the Right Nursing School near Waxhaw NC
Picking the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many variables that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted within this post, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Waxhaw NC.
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