How to Select a Nursing College near Whiteville Tennessee
Finding the best nursing program near Whiteville TN may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing school. There are a number of essential additional factors to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the Whiteville TN healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree in Whiteville TN may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option offered in Whiteville TN to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Tennessee community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Tennessee colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to advance 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 provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Tennessee board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses in Whiteville TN, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college in the Whiteville TN area or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training in Whiteville TN and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 job and household responsibilities 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 busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus or online in Whiteville TN, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Tennessee and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. 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 selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans in Whiteville TN, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specified 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 an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Tennessee or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit 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, check with the Tennessee school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Whiteville TN 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 looking at 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 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 superb reputation within the healthcare community, but that it also has the network of Whiteville TN relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Whiteville TN hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
About Whiteville Tennessee
Whiteville Correctional Facility
Whiteville Correctional Facility is a privately operated prison for men located in Whiteville, Hardeman County, Tennessee. The facility opened in 2002 and has a capacity of 1536 medium-security inmates.
As of 2016, Tennessee houses state inmates in four CCA prisons. The state's Private Prison Contracting Act of 1986, however, authorizes one single private prison for state inmates. As of 2016 Tennessee technically contracts directly with CCA for inmates held at South Central Correctional Facility. For Whiteville and two others, the state circumvents the statute by contracting with the local county. In turn the county signs an agreement with CCA.
Whiteville is the location of another prison, the Hardeman County Correctional Center, less than a mile south of Whiteville Correctional Facility on the same road. It is also owned and operated by Corrections Corporation of America (CCA), opened in 1997, and also houses medium-security prisoners for the state.
Choose the Right RN Course near Whiteville TN
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Whiteville TN.
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