How to Find the Right Nursing College near Timberville Virginia
Locating the right nursing school near Timberville VA may seem like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Timberville VA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent 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
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Timberville VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 guarantees that the course of study properly 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Timberville VA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some Timberville VA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Timberville VA or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Virginia and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Timberville VA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, 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 Timberville VA 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Timberville VA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Timberville VA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Timberville VA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Timberville 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.
Timberville is a town in Rockingham County, Virginia, United States. The population was 2,522 at the 2010 census, which was a significant increase from the 1,739 reported in the 2000 census. It is part of the Harrisonburg Metropolitan Statistical Area.
As of the census of 2000, 1,739 people, 735 households, and 465 families resided in the town. The population density was 1,968.1 per square mile (763.0/km²). There were 770 housing units at an average density of 871.5 per square mile (337.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 97.35% White, 0.17% African American, 0.12% Native American, 0.17% Asian, 1.21% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.31% of the population. 30% of Timberville's residents were German, 11% English, 8% Irish, 3% Mexican, and 2% Dutch. Scotch-Irish, Italians, Russians, Scottish, French, Swiss, Polish, French Canadians and Yugoslavians each constituted 1% of the population.
There were 735 households out of which 27.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.29 and the average family size was 2.89.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Timberville VA
Picking the ideal nursing college is probably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Timberville VA.
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