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BSN Programs in North Carolina

Clara Barton is one of the most famous nurses in American history. She was a pioneering nurse who worked during the American Civil War. She dedicated her life for the sick and injured.  She gained recognition for her efforts and successfully founded the American Red Cross. This organization was set up to provide disaster relief and emergency assistance.

Nursing in North Carolina

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 89,070 registered nurses employed in North Carolina in 2014.

North Carolina has a dynamic healthcare industry that employs thousands of physicians and nurses. Changing population trends, health coverage and rising health problems have increased the demand for health services in the state. The state is expected to experience a shortage of nurses in the coming decade according to the North Carolina Association of Nurses.

Should you become a nurse in North Carolina?

The healthcare industry of North Carolina is expected to open up many career opportunities for nurses. If you are interested in becoming a nurse, North Carolina can be a great place to start. There are a number of healthcare institutions such as clinics, hospitals, and nursing homes in North Carolina. However, your decision of becoming a nurse should not be solely based on the positive employment prospects. Also keep in mind the physical and psychological demands of the field.

As a nurse you will be required to:

  • Be on your feet most of the time
  • Stay calm and keep a cool mind in pressurizing situations
  • Provide emotional support to patients
  • Show compassion for patients

Nursing schools in North Carolina

There are a number of nursing schools in North Carolina. You can pursue nursing degree programs at associate, baccalaureate and masters level. An associate degree could help you qualify as a basic nurse. However, for an advanced nursing career, getting a bachelor’s degree in nursing may be necessary. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine, the demand for baccalaureate nurses is growing. Healthcare employers prefer hiring nurses who have a BSN degree.

What you will learn in BSN programs in North Carolina

In the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree, you would develop nursing skills needed to practice in a variety of health care settings. The program will help you develop a solid base of nursing knowledge and clinical skills. You will learn about various aspects of nursing, healthcare delivery systems, healthcare organizations and the evolving role of modern-day nurses.

The curriculum may vary slightly from college to college. Typically, the first few semesters are dedicated to the basics of nursing. You would acquire a thorough understanding of nursing history and fundamental nursing theories. Further in the program, emphasis is laid on more advanced nursing topics and practical courses.

Here are some of the courses you may cover in a BSN program:

Health assessment

In this course, you would exam various theories and concepts related to health assessment. You would learn how to use patient’s health history to conduct physical and comprehensive health assessments.

Concepts of professional nursing

This course is dedicated to nursing theories, legal issues and ethical issues in nursing. The course will highlight important topics such as the following: social and political influences, health care delivery systems, professional development, etc.

Principles of pharmacology

In this course, you would acquire a fundamental understanding of drugs, their benefits and side effects.  Topics such as the following may be covered: pharmacologic effects of drugs on the human body, calculation of intravenous medications, drug administration and legal implications of drug administration.

Nursing research

This course would provide you with the knowledge of basic nursing research methodologies. You would learn how to use different research and statistical methods, gather data and analyze results.

Nursing of families with infants and children

This course is designed to equip you with the knowledge of holistic care. You would learn about the importance of health promotion and develop skills needed to function as a dependent-care agent in health care settings.

BSN program objectives

By the end of the program, you would be able to:

  • Apply nursing knowledge in different healthcare settings
  • Understand the role of nursing in today’s advanced health care industry
  • Practice nursing and demonstrate a strong understanding of therapeutic nursing interventions
  • Demonstrate strong analytical, decision-making and communications skills
  • Conduct basic clinical tasks and administer medication
  • Utilize knowledge and conduct nursing research
  • Competently apply leadership and management skills in nursing care facilities
  • Understand the ethical and legal boundaries of the profession
  • Collaborate with physicians to develop treatment plans for patients

How long does it take to complete a BSN degree?

It typically takes four years to complete the degree. However, you can also earn the degree in less than four years by opting for an accelerated degree track. There are a number of nursing schools offering accelerated BSN programs in North Carolina.

Can you get a BSN degree online?

Perhaps not completely 100% online, the BSN degree is offered in a hybrid format where theoretical coursework is completed at home while lab work is completed on campus.  The coursework of an online program is usually covered through online videos, classroom conferencing, online lectures and tutorials.

Online BSN programs are suitable for working individuals who do not have the time to take classes on-campus. Online students can study according to their own schedule and pace.

Some of the benefits that come with distance learning are:

  • Low cost
  • Flexible coursework
  • Convenience

Nursing license

Before you can apply for a nursing job, you must have a professional nursing license. The North Carolina Board of Nursing is responsible for issuing nursing licenses in the state. You will have to pass the NCLEX-RN examination conducted by the board.

Here are some of the main eligibility requirements for the exam in NC:

  • Complete the nurse gateway registration
  • Complete the examination application and pay the fee
  • Submit the NCBON identification document
  • Complete the registration process with Pearson VUE

The process and requirements will differ for out-of-state and international nursing applicants.

Career prospects

North Carolina is home to many healthcare institutions where you can launch a career as a registered nurse. You can choose to work in hospitals, clinics, rehabilitation centers, physician’s offices and even nursing homes.

Your income would depend on your job title, skill set and employer organization. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, registered nurses in North Carolina made a mean annual income of $60,030.


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