How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Cottondale Alabama
Finding the best nursing program near Cottondale AL may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Cottondale AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic 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 earn 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 available in the Cottondale AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four 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 may wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Cottondale AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Cottondale AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Cottondale AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Cottondale 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 colleges you are looking at what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Cottondale AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Cottondale AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many Cottondale AL students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cottondale AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cottondale 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.
Richard Price Rummonds
Richard Price Rummonds (also known as Richard-Gabriel Price Rummonds), one of the foremost handpress printers of the late twentieth century, is also an author, publisher, typographer, and historian of printing. His two books on nineteenth-century printing, Printing on the Iron Handpress and Nineteenth-Century Printing Practices and the Iron Handpress, comprehensively describe the history, operation and merits of the iron handpress.
Born on April 26, 1931, in Long Beach, California, Rummonds was raised in Sacramento, California. He attended Syracuse University in 1949–1950, in the School of Fine Arts, with the intention of majoring in set and costume design and the University of California at Berkeley intermittently between 1950 and 1954, where he majored in English and Creative Writing. During this period he was on the staff of Occident, the student literary magazine, of which he became the editor for the Spring 1954 issue.
Rummonds began printing in Quito, Ecuador in 1966, using the Plain Wrapper Press imprint. His first book was a selection of his own poems. The following year in Buenos Aires, Argentina, he printed a book of his short stories.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Cottondale AL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical 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 ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Cottondale AL.
More Awesome Locations in Alabama