How to Pick a Nursing School near Grand Bay Alabama
Choosing the best nursing school near Grand Bay AL may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Grand Bay AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary 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 area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Grand Bay AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive 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 may 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to obtain 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, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Grand Bay AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training 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 have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Grand Bay AL or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably 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 previously mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Grand Bay 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) as well as 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 attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Grand Bay 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Grand Bay 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 get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially 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. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Grand Bay AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some Grand Bay AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary 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. So if your work and household responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Grand Bay AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Grand Bay 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.
Grand Bay, Alabama
Grand Bay is located at 30°28′27″N 88°20′31″W / 30.47417°N 88.34194°W / 30.47417; -88.34194 (30.474055, -88.341836), along U.S. Route 90 midway between the Alabama/Mississippi state line and the town of St. Elmo, a few miles inland from the Mississippi Sound.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,918 people, 1,364 households, and 1,078 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 452.3 people per square mile (174.7/km²). There were 1,441 housing units at an average density of 166.4 per square mile (64.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 89.00% White, 8.88% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.
There were 1,364 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.9% were non-families. 18.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.19.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Grand Bay AL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many variables that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Grand Bay AL.
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