How to Select the Right RN College near Columbia South Carolina
Searching for the right nursing school near Columbia SC may seem like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover the nursing degree alternatives that are offered together with what the roles of nurses are in our healthcare system.
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Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a nurse. And to become a Registered Nurse (RN), a student must attend an accredited school and program. A nursing student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered to aspiring students in the Columbia SC area.
- Associates Degree. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s Degree. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at 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 might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s Degree. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the South Carolina board of nursing for any state requirements.
Why Choose Nursing as a Career?
Nurses are an integral component of a Columbia SC medical team, and for a number of patients, their primary care providers. A career in nursing opens doors to a number of opportunities, such as research, health care education and specialty areas of practice. Nurses go into the profession for various reasons, among the most meaningful are its practical and personal advantages. Nurses provide personal, one-on-one care to patients. Many individuals in a hospital or home care setting spend more time with nurses than with physicians. Nurses often go into the profession due to a passion to tend to the needs of patients, including in situations of short-term treatment of illness and prolonged care of chronic ailments. This humanistic aspect of the healthcare profession, rather than the research or analytical related aspects, is attractive to many who decide to enter into a career in nursing. Nurses have a wide range of applicable skills and can select from a number of work settings, including nursing homes, physician’s offices, medical clinics, community centers and hospitals. Also, nurses can advance into a number of specializations, such as substance addictions, critical care, genetics and neonatology. Although many nurses provide personal patient care, others opt to be educators, policy advisers and pharmaceutical representatives.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Columbia SC hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Columbia SC students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Columbia SC or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout South Carolina and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Columbia SC 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for South Carolina or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the South Carolina school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Columbia SC 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 schools 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Columbia SC healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Columbia SC hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online RN Degree Programs Near Me Columbia South Carolina
Selecting the ideal nursing college is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. You originally came to this website due to your interest in Online RN Degree Programs Near Me and wanting more information on the topic Evening Nursing Degrees.. However, by utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Columbia SC.
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Columbia, South Carolina
Columbia is the capital and second-largest city of the U.S. state of South Carolina, with a population estimate of 131,674 as of 2019. The city serves as the county seat of Richland County, and a portion of the city extends into neighboring Lexington County. It is the center of the Columbia metropolitan statistical area, which had a population of 767,598 as of the 2010 United States Census, growing to 832,666 by July 1, 2018, according to 2018 U.S. Census estimates. This makes it the 70th-largest metropolitan statistical area in the nation, as estimated by the United States Census Bureau as of July 1, 2018. The name Columbia is a poetic term used for the United States, originating from the name of Christopher Columbus. The city is located about 13 miles (21 km) northwest of the geographic center of South Carolina, and is the primary city of the Midlands region of the state. It lies at the confluence of the Saluda River and the Broad River, which merge at Columbia to form the Congaree River. Columbia is home to the University of South Carolina, the state's flagship university and the largest in the state, and is also the site of Fort Jackson, the largest United States Army installation for Basic Combat Training. Columbia is also located 20 miles west of the site of McEntire Joint National Guard Base, which is operated by the U.S. Air Force and is used as a training base for the 169th Fighter Wing of the South Carolina Air National Guard. Columbia is also the location of the South Carolina State House, which is the center of government for the state. In 1860, the city was the location of the South Carolina Secession Convention, which marked the departure of the first state from the Union in the events leading up to the Civil War.
At the time of European encounter, the inhabitants of the area that became Columbia were a people called the Congaree. In May 1540, a Spanish expedition led by Hernando de Soto traversed what is now Columbia while moving northward. The expedition produced the earliest written historical records of the area, which was part of the regional Cofitachequi chiefdom.
From the creation of Columbia by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1786, the site of Columbia was important to the overall development of the state. The Congarees, a frontier fort on the west bank of the Congaree River, was the head of navigation in the Santee River system. A ferry was established by the colonial government in 1754 to connect the fort with the growing settlements on the higher ground on the east bank.
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