How to Choose the Right Nursing School near Richwood West Virginia
Selecting the right nursing school near Richwood WV may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree options that are available together with what the roles of nurses are in our medical care system.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a nurse. And in order to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available to aspiring students in the Richwood WV area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
Why Become a Nurse?
Nurses are an essential component of a Richwood WV medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A nursing career can lead to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses enter the profession for various reasons, the most meaningful are its personal and practical rewards. Nurses provide direct, one-on-one care to patients. Most patients in a hospital or home care environment spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses frequently choose the profession due to a desire to administer to the needs of patients, including in cases of short-term treatment of illness and extended care of chronic conditions. This human aspect of the health profession, rather than the analytical or research related facets, is appealing to many who choose to pursue a career in nursing. Nurses have extensive applicable skills and can choose from a number of work settings, such as nursing homes, doctor’s offices, health clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a variety of specializations, including addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although most nurses deliver personal patient care, others choose to be educators, policy advisers or pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Richwood WV hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be West Virginia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Richwood WV area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed 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 likewise those for West 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 education is state certified. As well as 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 Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Richwood WV students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even other 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Richwood WV or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout West Virginia and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Richwood WV for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the West Virginia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Richwood WV 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Richwood WV healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Richwood WV hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Richwood WV?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing College in the greater Richwood West Virginia area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both interesting and useful regarding the location of your school campus.
Richwood, West Virginia
Richwood is a city in Nicholas County, West Virginia, United States. In 2010, the census showed Richwood with a population of 2,051. During the 19th and early 20th century Richwood was a booming coal and lumber town. Richwood has a very rich history, including the formation of the Cherry River Navy civic organization to draw attention to issues important to the community. Richwood has also became known statewide as the "Ramp Capital of the World". Each year, in April, the city hosts a large festival that draws visitors from around the country.
The area surrounding the forks of the Cherry River has been populated since the late 1700s. During the 19th century, the area was a sparsely settled semi-wilderness of homesteads and subsistence farms. This changed in 1898 when a railroad was extended into the area, then known as Cherry Tree Bottoms. In 1901, the town was incorporated with its present name referencing the abundant hardwood forests in the area. Soon, the area possessed a large sawmill and the world's largest clothespin factory.
The town was once home to several large businesses and industries. In addition to the sawmill and the clothespin factory, there were other factories that produced wood-based products such as axe-handles and paper. Coal also came into the industry picture during Richwood's boom-era during pre-Depression years. Banking was a white-collar industry that succeeded in the city with the large companies investing into the city's financial corporations. Once the large factories closed or relocated, many of the people followed. The final hit was when the coal industry took a downward turn and most of the local coal mines ceased operation.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Richwood WV
Selecting the right nursing school is arguably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when deciding on a nursing program. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Nursing College Courses. However, by utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick 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 Richwood WV.
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