How to Find the Right Nursing College near Midlothian Virginia
Choosing the right nursing program near Midlothian VA may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to choose a nursing college. There are a number of important additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Midlothian VA medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping 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 normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Midlothian VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained 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.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending 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 rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend college for many Midlothian VA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus 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 in the Midlothian VA area and throughout 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 earlier pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 agency. Aside from helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Midlothian VA, which are often not provided 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Midlothian VA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Midlothian VA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain 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. Check if the schools have associations with Midlothian VA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Midlothian VA?
Midlothian, Virginia (/mɪdˈloʊθiən/) is an unincorporated area in Chesterfield County, Virginia, U.S. Founded over 300 years ago as a coal town, it is now a suburban community located west of Richmond, Virginia and south of the James River in the Greater Richmond Region.
It was named for the early 18th-century coal mining enterprises of the Wooldridge brothers. They called their new venture the Mid-Lothian Mining and Manufacturing Company, and forced enslaved people to do the deadly work of digging underground. Midlothian is the site of the first commercially-mined coal in the Colony of Virginia and in what became the United States.
By the early 18th century, several mines were being developed by French Huguenots and others. The mine owners began to export the commodity from the region in the 1730s. Midlothian-area coal heated the U.S. White House for President Thomas Jefferson. The transportation needs of coal shipping stimulated construction of an early toll road, the Manchester Turnpike in 1807; and the Chesterfield Railroad, the state's first in 1831; each to travel the 13 miles (21 km) from the mining community to the port of Manchester, just below the Fall Line of the James River. In the early 1850s, the Richmond and Danville Railroad built Coalfield Station near the mines.
Choose the Right RN Course near Midlothian VA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Midlothian VA.
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