How to Pick a Nursing School near Loxley Alabama
Locating the right nursing program near Loxley AL may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Loxley AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire 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 short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Loxley AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Loxley AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. 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.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Loxley AL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you get an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Loxley AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Loxley AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments 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 favorable reputation within the Loxley AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Loxley AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Loxley AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Loxley AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Loxley 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.
Loxley is a town in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 1,632. It is part of the Daphne-Fairhope-Foley micropolitan area. Loxley is becoming a popular location for the expansion of the suburbs from Daphne and Spanish Fort, Alabama, because it is served by an Interstate 10 exit and is almost directly between the cities of Mobile, Alabama, and Pensacola, Florida.
In 1870, a man from Chicago by the name of John Loxley established a lumber camp in the area previously known as Bennet. The lumber camp included a commissary and saw mill. The men that traveled with Loxley settled in what later became the town of Loxley. John Loxley returned to Chicago when the lumber was exhausted.
The train depot opened on May 5, 1906, on the Fort Morgan Line. Before that, there were only wagon roads to Bay Minette. Also in 1906, the Loxley post office was opened by Octavia Sauer. She served as the postmistress and depot agent. By 1920, the businesses in Loxley consisted of an egg store, grocery store, two general merchandise stores, train depot, drug store, telegraph office, land office, repair garage, post office, bank, hotel, butcher shop, orange packing shed, cement block plant, a blacksmith, a feed and lumber store. A grammar school was built in 1925.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Loxley AL
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous variables that you need to think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Loxley AL.
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