How to Choose a Nursing School near Atmore Alabama
Locating the right nursing school near Atmore AL may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various crucial additional considerations to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Atmore AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 as little as two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Atmore AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 typically a two 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.
When a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other 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.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Atmore AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Atmore AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward 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 selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Atmore AL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin 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 lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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. Aside from helping make sure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Atmore AL 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Atmore 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 considering 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 favorable reputation within the Atmore AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Atmore AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Atmore AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Atmore 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.
Atmore is a city in Escambia County, Alabama, United States. It incorporated in 1907. As of the 2010 census it had a population of 10,194, with an estimated population of 10,006 in 2014. Atmore is in the planning stages to increase its economic base with additions in its new Rivercane development along the I-65 corridor.
Atmore has completed requirements to be recognized as an Alabama Community of Excellence at the upcoming Alabama League of Municipalities Convention. City officials are also working with the Alabama Historical Commission to have the downtown district listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Atmore is located in western Escambia County at 31°1′23″N 87°29′31″W / 31.02306°N 87.49194°W / 31.02306; -87.49194 (31.023183, -87.492067). Its southern border is the Florida state line. The center of town is at the intersection of U.S. Route 31 and Alabama State Route 21, while a new section of the city has been incorporated 6 miles (10 km) to the north around Exit 57 of Interstate 65. US 31 leads southwest 20 miles (32 km) to Bay Minette and east 28 miles (45 km) to Brewton. Mobile is 51 miles (82 km) to the southwest via US 31 and I-65, while Pensacola, Florida, is 49 miles (79 km) south via AL 21, Florida State Road 97, and U.S. Route 29.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Atmore AL
Picking the right nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Atmore AL.
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