How to Select a Nursing College near Keystone West Virginia
Locating the best nursing school near Keystone WV may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing school. There are various key additional factors to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Keystone WV healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Keystone WV may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available in Keystone WV 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 just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by West Virginia community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the West Virginia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be state approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Keystone WV, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at a community college in the Keystone WV area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to obtain training in Keystone WV and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet in Keystone WV, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout West Virginia and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Keystone WV, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for West Virginia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the West Virginia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Keystone 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 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 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 good reputation within the medical community, but that it also has the network of Keystone WV contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Keystone WV hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
About Keystone West Virginia
Keystone, West Virginia
Keystone is a city in McDowell County, West Virginia, United States. The population was 282 at the 2010 census. Keystone is one of several municipalities in West Virginia with an African-American majority, with 65 percent of the residents being black.
Larry Scott Deaner wrote about the historical geography of the African-American population of Keystone in his 2004 Master's thesis. Deaner calls Keystone the cultural capital of the "Free State of McDowell" - a term coined by Matthew Thomas Whittico, a local newspaper editor and community leader from Keystone in the early 20th century. Keystone possessed a unique combination of political, social, and economic characteristics that made it an attractive place for African-Americans to migrate to in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Keystone was founded in 1892 by the Keystone Coal & Coke Company. Keystone was then incorporated in 1909 by the Circuit Court of McDowell County. Its name is derived from the name of the coal and coke company operating at that point. The city was formerly known as Cassville.
On May 1, 1895, 15,000 (predominantly black) union miners assembled in Keystone and armed themselves, planning to march across the state line to Virginia in order to force the (also predominantly black) Virginia miners in one bordering mine to unionize. The governor of Virginia, Charles O'Ferrall ordered an artillery company and six infrantry companies to the Va border, but WV Governor William MacCorkle refused repeated requests from O'Ferrall to reciprocate.
Select the Right RN Course near Keystone WV
Picking the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Keystone WV.
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