How to Enroll In a Nursing College near West Mclean Virginia
Searching for the best nursing school near West Mclean VA may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regretably, too many potential students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing school. There are various important additional aspects to look into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different West Mclean VA medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the West Mclean VA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by Virginia community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Virginia colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two year program after receiving 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 acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Virginia board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend classes for many West Mclean VA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges in the West Mclean VA area and throughout Virginia and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans in West Mclean VA, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific 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 excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Virginia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some West Mclean 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 schools you are considering 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the West Mclean VA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts 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 setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with West Mclean VA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Looking at Nursing Schools near West Mclean VA?
McLean (/məˈkleɪn/ mə-KLAYN) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Fairfax County in Northern Virginia. McLean is home to many diplomats, businessmen, members of Congress, and high-ranking government officials partially due to its proximity to Washington, D.C. and the Central Intelligence Agency. It is the location of Hickory Hill, the former home of Ethel Kennedy, the widow of Robert F. Kennedy. It is also the location of Salona, the former home of Light-Horse Harry Lee, the Revolutionary War hero. The community had an estimated total population of 53,673 in 2015, according to estimates prepared by the United States Census Bureau. It is located between the Potomac River and the town of Vienna. McLean is known for its luxury homes and its nearby high-end shopping destinations: the Tysons Corner Center and the Tysons Galleria. The two McLean zip codes - 22101 and 22102 - are among the most expensive ZIP Codes in Virginia and the United States. In 2018, data from the American Community Survey revealed that McLean was the 3rd wealthiest city in the United States, based on its poverty rate of 2.6% and its median household income of $190,258.
The community received its name from John Roll McLean, the former publisher and owner of “The Washington Post.” Along with Stephen Benton Elkins and French aristocrat Jean-Pierre Guenard, in 1902 he bought the charter for the Great Falls and Old Dominion Railroad. Completed in 1906, it connected the area with Washington, D.C. McLean named a railroad station costing $1,500, of which $500 was raised locally, after himself where the rail line (traveling on the present route of Old Dominion Drive) crossed the old Chain Bridge Road. The community itself was founded in 1910, when the communities of Lewinsville and Langley merged.
McLean is located at 38°56′03″N 77°10′39″W / 38.93417°N 77.17750°W / 38.93417; -77.17750 (38.9342776, -77.1774801) at an elevation of 285 feet (87 m). Located on the Capital Beltway (Interstate 495) in Northern Virginia, central McLean is 8 miles (13 km) northwest of downtown Washington, D.C. and 9 miles (14 km) northeast of Fairfax, the county seat.
Select the Right RN School near West Mclean VA
Picking the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this post, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose 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 practicing nurse in West Mclean VA.
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