How to Pick a Nursing Program near Cleveland Georgia
Finding the best nursing college near Cleveland GA may feel like a complicated project, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training 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 potential students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Cleveland GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general 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 specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cleveland GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally 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 wish to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are essentially two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Cleveland GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. As well as 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.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Cleveland GA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping make sure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Cleveland GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia 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 agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cleveland GA 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Cleveland GA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Cleveland GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Cleveland GA students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. Therefore if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cleveland GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cleveland Georgia 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.
Cleveland is a city in White County, Georgia, United States, located ninety miles northeast of Atlanta. Its population was 3,410 at the 2010 census (up from 1,907 in 2000). It is the county seat of White County.
Cleveland was founded in 1857 as the seat of newly formed White County. It was incorporated as a town in 1870 and as a city in 1949. It was named for General Benjamin Cleveland, a War of 1812 figure and grandson of Colonel Benjamin Cleveland, a Revolutionary War figure.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,907 people, 729 households, and 468 families residing in the city. The population density was 602.7 people per square mile (233.0/km²). There were 808 housing units at an average density of 255.4 per square mile (98.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 86.58% White, 10.70% African American, 0.26% Native American, 0.31% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.99% of the population.
Select the Right Nursing College near Cleveland GA
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Cleveland GA.
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