How to Pick a Nursing College near Wilkesboro North Carolina
Searching for the right nursing school near Wilkesboro NC may feel like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing school. There are several crucial additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Wilkesboro NC medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees 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 two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Wilkesboro NC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by North Carolina community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at North Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 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.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive 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 certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend classes for many Wilkesboro NC students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Wilkesboro NC area and throughout North Carolina and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Wilkesboro NC, which are often not provided 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for North Carolina or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the North Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Wilkesboro NC 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 programs you are looking at 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Wilkesboro NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Wilkesboro NC hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Wilkesboro NC?
North Wilkesboro, North Carolina
North Wilkesboro is a town in Wilkes County, North Carolina, United States. The population was approximately 4,116 at the 2000 census and is now 4,245 as of the 2010 census. North Wilkesboro is the birthplace and original home of Lowe's Home Improvement, which continues to have a major presence in the community. The town is also known as one of the birthplaces of the sport of stock-car racing, and the North Wilkesboro Speedway was the first NASCAR-sanctioned track. Due to the town's proximity to the nearby Blue Ridge Mountains and the numerous tourist venues there, North Wilkesboro has been nicknamed the "Key to the Blue Ridge".
North Wilkesboro was founded in 1891 when the Norfolk and Southern Railroad built a railroad line into Wilkes County. The line ended on the northern bank of the Yadkin River opposite Wilkesboro, the county seat. The town of North Wilkesboro quickly developed around the railroad tracks. North Wilkesboro was the home of the Carolina Mirror Company, which for many years was the largest mirror factory in the United States. Although this is no longer the case, the town remains close to the industry through Gardner Glass Products Inc. Lowe's Foods, one of the Southeast's largest supermarket chains, was started in North Wilkesboro in 1954. Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, the nation's second-largest chain of home-improvement stores, was started in North Wilkesboro in 1946. Like many small towns and cities in rural North Carolina, North Wilkesboro has suffered since 1990 from the closing of nearly all of its textile and furniture factories, which have moved to low-wage locations in Latin America and Asia. The factories were a major part of the town's economic base. North Wilkesboro does continue to host large corporate offices including Gardner Glass Products Inc., Window World, and ECMD.
The North Wilkesboro Speedway, located just outside the city limits, predates the founding of NASCAR; the speedway held its first race on May 18, 1947 and from there it grew in popularity. On October 16, 1949, the Speedway held the 8th and final race of the 1949 NASCAR Strictly Stock Division; when the race was over Robert "Red" Byron had become the first NASCAR-sanctioned champion. The North Wilkesboro Speedway held NASCAR races for 50 years; on September 29, 1996 Jeff Gordon would win the final race to be held at the speedway. In 1995, following the death of the long-time owner and track founder Enoch Staley, the speedway was purchased by two new owners, Bob Bahre and Bruton Smith. Soon after their purchase, both men announced that they were closing the speedway and moving its two NASCAR race dates to their new tracks in Texas and New Hampshire. The decision met with strong criticism from race fans. Since 1996 several unsuccessful attempts have been made to purchase and reopen the speedway to racing.
Choose the Right RN Course near Wilkesboro NC
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each 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 final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Wilkesboro NC.
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