How to Pick a Nursing College near Kings Bay Georgia
Searching for the right nursing program near Kings Bay GA may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various important additional things to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Kings Bay GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating 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 complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Kings Bay GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 two year program after achieving 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 obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter 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 course of study effectively 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Kings Bay GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Kings Bay GA or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, 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 agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Kings Bay GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific 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 exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, check with the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Kings Bay GA 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 finish 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Kings Bay GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Kings Bay GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for many Kings Bay GA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Kings Bay GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Kings Bay 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.
Kings Bay, Georgia
Since 1979, the adjacent Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay (initially named Naval Submarine Support Base Kings Bay), located at 30.796 N, 81.514 W, has served as the major East Coast operating, training and refit base for nuclear ballistic missile submarines (SSBN). The base also hosts the Strategic Weapons Facility, Atlantic (SWFLANT), 30.785 N, 81.537 W.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Kings Bay GA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you choose 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 create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Kings Bay GA.
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