How to Find the Right Nursing College near Winston Salem North Carolina
Choosing the right nursing school near Winston Salem NC may seem like a challenging project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different Winston Salem NC medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered 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 just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Winston Salem NC area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by North Carolina community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at North 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 may wish 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 typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the North Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Winston Salem NC students. Regarding 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the Winston Salem NC area and throughout North 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 earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Winston Salem NC, which are often not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for North Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the North Carolina school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Winston Salem 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Winston Salem NC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Winston Salem NC hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near Winston Salem NC?
Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Winston-Salem is a city in and the county seat of Forsyth County, North Carolina, United States. With a 2015 estimated population of 241,218, it is the second largest municipality in the Piedmont Triad region and the 5th-most populous city in North Carolina, and the 89th-most populous city in the United States. Winston-Salem is home to the tallest office building in the region, 100 North Main Street, formerly the Wachovia Building and now known locally as the Wells Fargo Center.
Winston-Salem is called the "Twin City" for its dual heritage and "City of the Arts and Innovation" for its dedication to fine arts and theater and technological research. "Camel City" is a reference to the city's historic involvement in the tobacco industry related to locally based R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company's Camel cigarettes. Many locals refer to the city as "Winston" in informal speech. Another nickname, "the Dash," comes from the (-) in the city's name, although technically it is a hyphen, not a dash; this nickname is only used by the local minor league baseball team, the Winston-Salem Dash.
The origin of the town of Salem dates to January 1753, when Bishop August Gottlieb Spangenberg, on behalf of the Moravian Church, selected a settlement site in the three forks of Muddy Creek. He called this area "die Wachau" (Latin form: Wachovia) named after the ancestral estate of Count Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf. The land, just short of 99,000 acres (400 km2), was subsequently purchased from John Carteret, 2nd Earl Granville.
Enroll in the Right RN Course near Winston Salem NC
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Winston Salem NC.
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