How to Choose a Nursing College near Jackson Georgia
Searching for the right nursing program near Jackson GA may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to investigate 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 healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options 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, such as Jackson GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping 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 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Jackson GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Training
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Jackson GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 period of training directed and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state certified. 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.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Jackson GA or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Jackson GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Jackson GA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs 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 good reputation within the Jackson GA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Jackson GA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Jackson GA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Jackson GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Jackson 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.
Jackson is a city in Butts County, Georgia, United States. The city is the county seat of Butts County. The population was 5,045 in 2010, up from 3,934 at the 2000 census. The community was named after governor James Jackson.
Founded in 1826, Jackson began as a 303-acre (1.23 km2) plot purchased for the purpose of starting the town. The plot was divided into squares and each square into lots. The first buyer of a lot in the new town was John D. Swift of Newton County, Georgia. During the Civil War, much of Jackson was razed by the army of General William T. Sherman during his March to the Sea. After the war, Jackson, like much of the South, struggled economically for decades. Jackson remained little more than a small village until the arrival of the railroads in the latter half of the 19th century. On May 5, 1882, the first train arrived in Jackson, heralding a new era in the transportation of people and goods.
During the 20th century, Jackson grew and industrial textile mills became the largest employer of local citizens. The arrival of Interstate 75 just a few miles to the southwest of the city gave citizens quick access to Atlanta and Macon. The numerous schools throughout the county consolidated into one central school system located in Jackson, and the schools desegregated in 1968. In the 1970s, Jackson slowly became a bedroom community. City taxes were also abolished in the 1970s.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Jackson GA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Jackson GA.
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