How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Pennington Alabama
Finding the right nursing college near Pennington AL may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you 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 assess the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role 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 medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Pennington 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 specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing 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 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 multiple degrees 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 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Pennington AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Pennington AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Pennington AL or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school as well as the expense 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 sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Pennington AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Pennington 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 colleges 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 displeased 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 good reputation within the Pennington AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Pennington AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many Pennington AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Pennington AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Pennington 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.
James Chadwick Pennington (born June 26, 1976) is a former American football quarterback who played in the National Football League (NFL) for eleven seasons. He played college football at Marshall University and was drafted by the New York Jets in the first round, as the eighteenth overall selection in the 2000 NFL Draft. He played for the Jets from 2000 to 2007 and for the Miami Dolphins from 2008 to 2010. Pennington is the only player to win the AP NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award twice, doing so in 2006 and 2008. In 2008, he finished second in MVP voting to Peyton Manning. At the time of his retirement, Pennington was the NFL's all-time leader in career completion percentage at 66.0% among quarterbacks with at least 1,500 pass attempts, being surpassed by Drew Brees during the 2014 season.
Pennington's father, Elwood, was a physical education teacher and football coach at Halls High School, and his mother, Denise, a teacher at the Webb School of Knoxville. Pennington's first sport was basketball, which he began playing in the third grade. Both of Pennington's parents are of English descent. He began playing football in his freshman year in high school. His parents decided to have him repeat the eighth grade when he was enrolled at the Webb School of Knoxville due to the school's intense academic program. Pennington played baseball, basketball, and football at Webb but knew he had a better chance at getting into college via football.
He was recruited by only two colleges, Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, both NCAA Division I-AA schools. In 1995, he went to a training camp at Marshall University, his parents' alma mater, where he was noticed by head football coach Jim Donnan and offered a scholarship.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Pennington AL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you should consider when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Pennington AL.
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