How to Select a Nursing Program near Paint Rock Alabama
Finding the best nursing program near Paint Rock AL may feel like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, such as Paint Rock AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced 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 common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options 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 just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Paint Rock AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want to progress 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 2 year program after achieving 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 earned 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type 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 attests that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Paint Rock AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its specific requirements. 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 certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Paint Rock AL or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous 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 manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Paint Rock 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Paint Rock 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Paint Rock AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Paint Rock AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. 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 many Paint Rock AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Paint Rock AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Paint Rock 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.
Paint Rock, Alabama
As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 210, up from 185 in 2000. This was the first time in 100 years it increased in population. Out of 13 incorporated communities in Jackson County, it is the least populated. Its peak population was in 1910 when it had 534 people and was the 4th largest town in the county.
Paint Rock was settled in the 1820s, and was initially known as "Camden." A post office was established in 1836, and a railroad depot was constructed in 1856. The name was changed from Camden to "Paint Rock" in 1876.
Paint Rock is located at 34°39′37″N 86°19′41″W / 34.66028°N 86.32806°W / 34.66028; -86.32806 (34.660172, -86.328018). The town is situated along the Paint Rock River in a relatively narrow valley between Keel Mountain to the west and the Cumberland Plateau to the east. Gurley lies to the northwest, Woodville lies to the southeast, and Owens Cross Roads lies across Keel Mountain to the southwest. The Fern Cave National Wildlife Refuge is located along the base of the Cumberland Plateau just east of Paint Rock. U.S. Route 72 passes through Paint Rock, connecting the town with Scottsboro to the east and Huntsville to the west.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Paint Rock AL
Picking the right registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose 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 practicing nurse in Paint Rock AL.
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