How to Pick a Nursing School near Macon Georgia
Selecting the right nursing program near Macon GA may feel like a complex project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Macon GA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact 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
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Macon 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 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 might wish 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 two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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 can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing 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 seek, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Macon GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Macon GA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably 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 choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors 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 pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Macon GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified 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 provides an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Macon 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Macon GA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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 prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Macon GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Macon GA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. 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 work and household commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Macon GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Macon 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.
Macon (/ˈmeɪkən/), officially Macon–Bibb County, is a consolidated city-county located in the state of Georgia, United States. Macon lies near the geographic center of the state, approximately 85 miles (137 km) south of Atlanta, hence the city's nickname "The Heart of Georgia."
Located near the fall line of the Ocmulgee River, Macon is the county seat of Bibb County and had a 2017 estimated population of 152,663. Macon is the principal city of the Macon metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 228,914 in 2017. Macon is also the largest city in the Macon–Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area (CSA), a larger trading area with an estimated 420,693 residents in 2017; the CSA abuts the Atlanta metropolitan area just to the north.
In a 2012 referendum, voters approved the consolidation of Macon and Bibb County, and Macon became Georgia's fourth-largest city (just after Columbus). The two governments officially merged on January 1, 2014.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Macon GA
Selecting the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Macon GA.
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