How to Pick a Nursing Program near Allgood Alabama
Choosing the right nursing school near Allgood AL may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Allgood AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating 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), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver 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 enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Allgood AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth 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 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 employment 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.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other 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 and LVN Programs
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice 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 benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum 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 earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Allgood AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 mandated 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 minimal period of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Allgood 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 can be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous 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 very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Allgood AL or online, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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. Aside from helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Allgood AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Allgood AL 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 schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Allgood AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Allgood AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Allgood AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Allgood 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.
Allgood is located in south-central Blount County at 33°54′15″N 86°30′59″W / 33.90417°N 86.51639°W / 33.90417; -86.51639 (33.904216, -86.516428). It is in the Murphree Valley, with Straight Mountain to the southeast and Red Mountain and Sand Mountain to the northwest. Alabama State Route 75 passes through the town, leading northeast 3 miles (5 km) to Oneonta, the county seat, and southwest 38 miles (61 km) to Birmingham.
As of the census of 2000, there were 629 people, 189 households, and 140 families residing in the town. The population density was 606.6 people per square mile (233.5/km²). There were 198 housing units at an average density of 190.9 per square mile (73.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 83.94% White, 0.32% Black or African American, 0.48% Native American, 12.08% from other races, and 3.18% from two or more races. 43.40% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 189 households out of which 40.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.4% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 18.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.33 and the average family size was 3.80.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Allgood AL
Picking the ideal nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick 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 practicing RN in Allgood AL.
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