How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Westminster South Carolina
Searching for the right nursing program near Westminster SC may feel like a complex undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing college. There are several key additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different Westminster SC medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Westminster SC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program offered by South Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at South Carolina colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the South Carolina board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many Westminster SC students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other 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 household commitments have left you with little time to pursue 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 Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges in the Westminster SC area and throughout South Carolina and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 agency. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in Westminster SC, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Some 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 enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the South Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Westminster SC 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 dissatisfied 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 Westminster SC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Westminster SC hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Westminster SC?
Westminster, South Carolina
Westminster was founded on March 17, 1875 when the charter was signed. It was founded as a water stop on the Southern Railway. As stores, shops and factories started to set up around the train stop, it bloomed into a decent-sized town. Its peak of expansion came in the 1920s.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,743 people, 1,191 households, and 761 families residing in the city. The population density was 796.6 people per square mile (307.9/km²). There were 1,333 housing units at an average density of 387.1 per square mile (149.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 85.60% White, 11.81% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 1.20% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.48% of the population.
There were 1,191 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.90.
Choose the Right RN Degree near Westminster SC
Selecting the right registered nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Westminster SC.
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