Registered nurses (RN) are state-approved nurses who provide patient care, advice to patients and their family, and educate the public on health related topics. They work in private homes, hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. The demand for registered nurses is rising in Virginia so it has several nursing programs.
How to become a registered nurse
You need to:
Have at least an associate's degree in nursing which normally takes 2 years to complete from an accredited college or university
Clear the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN).
What you will study in RN programs in Virginia
The course syllabus you will study depends on the institute and degree level. The courses increase in quantity and complexity as you pursue a higher degree level. For a bachelor's degree in nursing, some of the theoretical and clinical (practical) courses you will study are:
Anatomy & Physiology
Nursing Care for Children
Ethical and Legal Issues in Healthcare
For clinical courses you need to find a preceptor (a nurse practitioner who will guide you) and then practice at a clinic. This practical component is mandatory to get a college degree in nursing. Most colleges help by pairing you with a preceptor but you should confirm this facility before applying.
You can pursue RN programs online, as long as the institute is accredited. These programs are ideal for:
People with full time jobs
Students who cannot travel
Students on a tight budget
You are sent course outlines, material, books, etc through email. You interact with instructors through video conferences or email. You will have to travel to a clinic for the practical courses though. You can save time and money on online programs. You can juggle jobs or other work since you study at your convenience. You do not need to travel for classes. If you feel your peers will be too young for comfortable interaction you can pick online registered nurse programs in Virginia.
Career growth after completing one of the RN programs in Virginia
The nursing sector is booming in America so your future prospects are strong. The expected job growth rate of 26% for registered nurses from 2010-2020 is higher than the national average growth rate for all occupations combined. By 2020 an estimated 700,000 jobs for registered nurses will be added. The median pay for registered nurses in 2010 was around $64,000. The top 10% of wages were over $95,000.
The admission requirements
The minimum requirements vary by institution and degree level so confirm them from the institute before applying. Minimum high school CGPA requirements can range from 2.0 to perhaps even 3.0. The institute may require SAT or ACT test scores with minimum score requirements, 1 or 2 letters of recommendation, a license to practice as a registered nurse, a passing score in an entrance test (for example a Pre-Nursing Entrance Test) and/or a personal statement or letter of purpose.