How to Select a Nursing School near Hatchechubbee Alabama
Locating the right nursing program near Hatchechubbee AL may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Hatchechubbee AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Hatchechubbee AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Hatchechubbee AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Hatchechubbee AL or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, 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 along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Hatchechubbee AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain 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 provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet 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. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Hatchechubbee AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Hatchechubbee AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Hatchechubbee AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require 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 alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Hatchechubbee AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. 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. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Hatchechubbee AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Hatchechubbee Alabama 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.
Russell County, Alabama
Russell County is a county in the southeastern part of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census, the population was 52,947. Its county seat is Phenix City. Its name is in honor of Colonel Gilbert C. Russell, who fought in the wars against the Creek Indians.
Russell County was established by an act of the state general assembly on December 18, 1832, from lands ceded to the state by the Creek Native Americans. The county seat has changed several times: Girard (1833–1839), Crawford originally Crockettsville (1839–1868), Seale (1868–1935) and Phenix City (1935–present). It was named for War of 1812, Col. Gilbert Christian Russell, Sr., 1782–1861, 3rd U.S. Infantry.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 52,947 people residing in the county. 53.7% were White, 41.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Asian, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Pacific Islander, 1.3% of some other race and 2.1% of two or more races. 3.7% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race).
Select the Right Nursing Program near Hatchechubbee AL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Hatchechubbee AL.
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