How to Choose a Nursing School near Tuskegee Alabama
Locating the best nursing college near Tuskegee 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 presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Tuskegee AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty 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 area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option 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 receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Tuskegee AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 might want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he 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 check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Tuskegee AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Tuskegee AL or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Tuskegee 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Tuskegee AL 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Tuskegee AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Tuskegee AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many Tuskegee AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. 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. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Tuskegee AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tuskegee 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.
Tuskegee (/tʌsˈkiːɡiː/) is a city in Macon County, Alabama, United States. It was founded and laid out in 1833 by General Thomas Simpson Woodward, a Creek War veteran under Andrew Jackson, and made the county seat that year. It was incorporated in 1843. It is also the largest city in Macon County. At the 2010 census the population was 9,865, down from 11,846 in 2000.
Tuskegee has been an important site in African-American history and highly influential in United States history since the 19th century. Before the American Civil War, the area was largely used as a cotton plantation, dependent on African-American slave labor. After the war, many freedmen continued to work on plantations in the rural area, which was devoted to agriculture. In 1881 the Tuskegee Normal School (now Tuskegee University, a historically black college) was founded by Lewis Adams, a former slave whose father, Jesse Adams, a slave owner, allowed him to be educated, and its first, founding principal was, Booker T. Washington who developed a national reputation and philanthropic network to support education of freedmen and their children.
In 1923, the Tuskegee Veterans Administration Medical Center was established here, initially for the estimated 300,000 African-American veterans of World War I in the South, when public facilities were racially segregated. Twenty-seven buildings were constructed on the 464-acre campus.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Tuskegee AL
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is probably the most critical first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Tuskegee AL.
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