How to Pick a Nursing School near Summersville West Virginia
Locating the right nursing program near Summersville WV may feel like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regretably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different Summersville WV medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Summersville WV area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by West Virginia community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at West Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. 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 Summersville WV students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family obligations have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges in the Summersville WV area and throughout West Virginia and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans in Summersville WV, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the West Virginia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Summersville 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 programs 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Summersville WV medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire 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 requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Summersville WV hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Summersville WV?
Summersville, West Virginia
Summersville is located at 38°17′0″N 80°50′39″W / 38.28333°N 80.84417°W / 38.28333; -80.84417 (38.283342, -80.844207). It is located just north of the Gauley River which is famous for its challenging whitewater. The river is impounded by a large dam which creates Summersville Lake, creating flatwater recreation as well.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 4.26 square miles (11.03 km2), of which, 4.22 square miles (10.93 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) is water.
The climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Summersville has a marine west coast climate, abbreviated "Cfb" on climate maps.
Enroll in the Right RN College near Summersville WV
Selecting the right registered nursing school is potentially the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Summersville WV.
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