How to Find the Right Nursing School near Waynesboro Tennessee
Choosing the best nursing college near Waynesboro TN may seem like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order 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 ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional things to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Waynesboro TN hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. 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.
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Waynesboro TN area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Tennessee board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Tennessee approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Waynesboro TN area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 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 instruction mandated and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Tennessee or 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 certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Waynesboro TN or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Tennessee and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- 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 ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Waynesboro TN 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. Some states require a specified 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Tennessee or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Tennessee school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Waynesboro 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 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Waynesboro TN medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Waynesboro TN hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Waynesboro TN students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Waynesboro TN?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Waynesboro Tennessee area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
Waynesboro was founded in 1821 as a county seat for the newly created Wayne County. The city initially consisted of a 40-acre (16 ha) plot that included the courthouse and jail. A school, Ashland Academy, was established in 1843. The city incorporated in 1850.
Waynesboro is concentrated around the junction of State Route 13 and U.S. Route 64, 105 miles (169 km) south of Nashville, and 135 miles (217 km) east Memphis. State Route 99, which intersects US 64 in eastern Waynesboro, connects the city with Hohenwald to the northeast. The Natchez Trace Parkway intersects US 64 a few miles east of Waynesboro.
Waynesboro lies along the banks of the Green River, which slices a narrow valley oriented north-to-south en route to its mouth along the Buffalo River to the north. Hurricane Creek, which approaches from the southeast, empties into the Green River just north of the city. Much of the forest northwest of Waynesboro is part of the Eagle Creek Wildlife Management Area.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Waynesboro TN
Choosing the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Waynesboro TN.
More Awesome Locations in Tennessee