How to Pick a Nursing Program near Elberton Georgia
Searching for the best nursing college near Elberton GA may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Elberton GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 multiple degrees offered 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 as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Elberton GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ 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 typically a 4 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 might 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 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.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit 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. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Elberton GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Elberton GA or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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. Besides helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Elberton 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Elberton 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Elberton GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Elberton GA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many Elberton GA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous 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 commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Elberton GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Elberton 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.
Elberton is the largest city in Elbert County, Georgia, United States. The population was 4,653 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Elbert County, and serves as a hub for industry and small business in Northeast Georgia.
Settled in the 1780s, Elbert was designated seat of the newly formed Elbert County in 1790. It was incorporated as a town in 1803 and as a city in 1896. Like Elbert County, Elberton is named for Samuel Elbert.
Elberton is located near the center of Elbert County at 34°6′35″N 82°51′56″W / 34.10972°N 82.86556°W / 34.10972; -82.86556 (34.109628, -82.865669). State Routes 17 and 72 pass east-west through the center of town as College Avenue, while 77 crosses north-south on Oliver Street. GA 17 leads northwest 19 miles (31 km) to Royston and southeast 29 miles (47 km) to Washington, GA 72 leads east 15 miles (24 km) to the South Carolina border at Richard B. Russell Lake on the Savannah River and west 35 miles (56 km) to Athens, and GA 77 leads north 18 miles (29 km) to Hartwell and southwest 25 miles (40 km) to Lexington.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Elberton GA
Picking the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Elberton GA.
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