How to Choose a Nursing College near Pelham Georgia
Locating the best nursing school near Pelham GA may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
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 Pelham GA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Pelham GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, 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 properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Pelham 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, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also 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 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 may be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Pelham GA or online, you can use the following guidelines to start 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 essential to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Pelham GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards 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 also. In addition, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Pelham 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Pelham GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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 prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Pelham GA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many Pelham GA students. Concerning tuition, many 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 a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Pelham GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Pelham 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.
Pelham is a city in Mitchell County, Georgia, United States. The population was 3,898 at the 2010 census. Pelham is at the crossroads of US 19 and State Route 93 and is approximately 38 miles (61 km) south of Albany and about 26 miles (42 km) north of Thomasville.
Pelham has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by humid summers and mild winters. It receives 52 inches of rain per year. The average number of days with any measurable precipitation is 90. Pelham has on average 233 sunny days per year. The July high is around 93 degrees Fahrenheit. The January low is 39 degrees Fahrenheit.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,126 people, 1,467 households and 999 families in the city. The population density was 1,019.2 people per square mile (393.3/km²). There were 1,591 housing units at an average density of 393.0 per square mile (151.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.13% African American, 41.66% White, 0.24% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.43% of the population.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Pelham GA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Pelham GA.
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