How to Choose a Nursing School near Fruitdale Alabama
Locating the right nursing program near Fruitdale AL may seem like a complex project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional things 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 function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Fruitdale AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees offered 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 just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Fruitdale AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 typically a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 core curriculum adequately 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 training can be received at Fruitdale AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Fruitdale 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 numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Fruitdale AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fruitdale 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 schools 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Fruitdale AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Fruitdale AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some Fruitdale AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household 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 active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Fruitdale AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Fruitdale 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.
U.S. Route 45 in Alabama
In the U.S. state of Alabama, U.S. Route 45 (US 45) is a 60-mile-long (97 km) north–south United States Highway in the east south central state of Alabama. It travels from Mobile to the Mississippi state line, just east of State Line, Mississippi. The highway's southern terminus is in Mobile, at an intersection with US 98. Its northern terminus in the state of Alabama is at the Mississippi state line, where the highway continues to the northwest into that state.
In Alabama, all of the U.S. Highways have one or more unsigned state highways designated along its length. US 45 travels concurrently with State Route 17 (SR 17) from its southern terminus to just north of Deer Park. For the rest of its length in the state, the highway travels concurrently with SR 57.
US 45, along with unsigned SR 17, begins at an intersection with US 98 (Spring Hill Avenue; unsigned SR 42) in the central part of Mobile, in Mobile County. US 45 heads to the northwest and travels just north of Lyons Park and skirts along the northeastern edge of USA Children's & Women's Hospital. It crosses over Threemile Creek and curves to the north-northwest. It passes just to the east of Washington Middle School and Carver Park. Just after passing Gorgas Park and LeFlore Magnet High School, the highway curves back to the northwest. At an intersection with West Prichard Avenue, it leaves Mobile and enters Prichard. It crosses over some railroad tracks of Canadian National Railway just before an interchange with Interstate 65 (I-65). The highway passes Whispering Pines Cemetery just before crossing over Eightmile Creek. Almost immediately, it intersects the southern terminus of SR 213 (South Shelton Beach Road). Approximately 1,000 feet (300 m) later is an intersection with the southern terminus of SR 217 (Lott Road). US 45 passes John F. Fagerstrom Municipal Park and then Collins–Rhodes Elementary School. It curves to the north-northeast and crosses over Seabury Creek. The highway curves to a nearly due north direction and has an interchange with SR 158 (Industrial Parkway). It curves back to the northwest and travels through Kushla, which is within the city limits of Prichard. Immediately after leaving the city, the highway crosses over Magee Creek. It then enters Mauvilla. Here, it intersects the southern terminus of County Route 78 (CR 78; Spice Pond Road). Just northeast of Mauvilla Cemetery is an intersection with the southern terminus of CR 55 (Kali Oka Road). US 45 curves to the north-northwest, leaves Mauvilla, and crosses over Williams Creek. It curves to the north and crosses over Silver Creek. It curves to the north-northeast and enters Chunchula. The highway curves back to the north-northwest and enters the main part of the community. There, the highway has an intersection with CR 63 (Chunchula–Georgetown Road/Roberts Road). It curves back to the northwest and crosses over Beaver Pond Creek. It curves back to the north-northwest and crosses over Sweetwater and Drinking branches. It heads to the north-northeast and crosses over Sand Hill Creek. In Gulfcrest, the highway intersects the eastern terminus of CR 92 (Gulfcrest Road). The highway curves to the north and passes McDavid–Jones Elementary School. Then, it enters Citronelle. Almost immediately is an intersection with CR 41 (Celeste Road), which begins to parallel the U.S. Highway. It passes Lott Middle School and then Pilgrims Rest Cemetery. At an intersection with the southern terminus of Main Street, CR 41 ends its paralleling of US 45. It curves to the north and crosses over Puppy Creek. In the main part of Citronelle, it has an intersection with both CR 96 (West State Street) and the northern terminus of CR 41 (East State Street). CR 96 has a brief unsigned concurrency with US 45. On the northeastern edge of the intersection is War Memorial Park. One block later, CR 96 splits off to the east, onto Lebaron Avenue. On the northeastern edge of the intersection, US 45 passes the new campus of Citronelle High School. It curves to the north-northwest and briefly leaves Citronelle. It passes Wesleyan Christian Academy and then re-enters the city for a very short stint. During the last stint, it crosses over Bennett Creek. Upon leaving the city, it enters Washington County.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Fruitdale AL
Choosing the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various factors that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Fruitdale AL.
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