How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Rome Georgia
Finding the right nursing program near Rome GA may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Rome 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 specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Rome GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing 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 needs to 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 adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Rome GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Rome GA or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 agency. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Rome 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified 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 exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Rome 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 schools 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 important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Rome GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Rome GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend college for some Rome GA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Rome GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Rome 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.
Rome is the largest city in and the county seat of Floyd County, Georgia, United States. Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it is the principal city of the Rome, Georgia, Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses all of Floyd County. At the 2010 census, the city had a population of 36,303. It is the largest city in Northwest Georgia and the 19th largest city in the state.
Rome was built at the confluence of the Etowah and the Oostanaula rivers, forming the Coosa River. Because of its strategic advantages, this area was long occupied by the Creek and later the Cherokee people. National leaders such as Major Ridge and John Ross resided here before Indian Removal.
The city has developed on seven hills with the rivers running between them, a feature that inspired the early European-American settlers to name it for Rome, the longtime capital of Italy. It developed in the antebellum period as a market and trading city due to its advantageous location on the rivers, by which it sent the rich regional cotton commodity crop downriver to markets on the Gulf Coast and export overseas.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Rome GA
Picking the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Rome GA.
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