How to Select a Nursing School near Addison Alabama
Searching for the best nursing program near Addison AL may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many important additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Addison AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Addison AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers 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) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has attained 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Addison AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and every state has its own requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many Addison AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Addison AL or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Addison AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Addison AL 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Addison AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Addison AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Addison AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Addison Alabama 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.
As of the 2010 Census Addison had a population of 757. The population was 99.1% white, 0.1% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.7% from two or more races and 0.4% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 723 people, 315 households, and 219 families residing in the town. The population density was 205.7 people per square mile (79.5/km²). There were 339 housing units at an average density of 96.5 per square mile (37.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.45% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.14% Asian, and 0.14% from two or more races. 0.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 315 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.78.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Degree near Addison AL
Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of factors that you need to think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Addison AL.
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