How to Choose a Nursing School near York Alabama
Selecting the best nursing college near York AL may seem like a complex project, especially 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 obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to select 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 discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as York AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to aid 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 in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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 several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the York AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to attain 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, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish 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 attests that the course of study 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at York AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near York AL or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in York 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 needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain 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 excellent 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 too. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some York 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the York AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with York AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some York AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near York AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater York 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.
York is a city in Sumter County, Alabama, United States. Founded around 1838 after the merging of two communities, Old Anvil and New York Station, the latter a station on a stagecoach line. The rail came through in the 1850s and later, the "New" was dropped from York Station in 1861. With the discovery that another community in Alabama bore that name, the "Station" was dropped and York was formally incorporated on April 6, 1881. At the 2010 census the population was 2,538, down from 2,854. From 1920-1980, it was the largest town in the county. Since 1990, it has been the second largest city behind the county seat of Livingston.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,854 people, 1,046 households, and 689 families residing in the city. The population density was 403.2 people per square mile (155.6/km²). There were 1,209 housing units at an average density of 170.8 per square mile (65.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 20.71% White, 78.31% Black or African American, 0.07% Native American, 0.07% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.04% from other races, and 0.77% from two or more races. 1.09% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,046 households out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.4% were married couples living together, 28.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 31.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.34.
Choose the Right Nursing School near York AL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist 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 proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in York AL.
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