How to Pick a Nursing College near Fulton Alabama
Selecting the right nursing program near Fulton AL may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Fulton AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing 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 advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Fulton AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 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 afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance 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 make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Fulton AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in 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 mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Fulton AL or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, 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 in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Fulton AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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 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 exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fulton 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Fulton AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with Fulton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Fulton AL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. Therefore if your work 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 hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Fulton AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Fulton 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.
As of the census of 2000, there were 308 people, 122 households, and 87 families residing in the town. The population density was 123.6 people per square mile (47.8/km²). There were 139 housing units at an average density of 55.8 per square mile (21.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 82.14% White and 17.86% Black or African American.
There were 122 households out of which 38.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.0% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the town, the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 18.8% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.2 males.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Fulton AL
Choosing the right registered nursing college is perhaps the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this content, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist 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 ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Fulton AL.
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