How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Bayou La Batre Alabama
Selecting the best nursing program near Bayou La Batre AL may seem like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many important additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Bayou La Batre AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available 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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Bayou La Batre AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered 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 subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 may desire 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study effectively 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 need to attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Bayou La Batre AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure 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 recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Bayou La Batre AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Bayou La Batre AL or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Bayou La Batre AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides 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 internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Bayou La Batre 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 colleges 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Bayou La Batre AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Bayou La Batre AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Bayou La Batre AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Bayou La Batre 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.
Bayou La Batre, Alabama
Bayou La Batre (/ˌbaɪ.oʊ lə ˈbætri/ or locally /ˌbaɪlə ˈbætri/) is a town in Mobile County, Alabama, United States. It is included in the Mobile metropolitan statistical area. At the 2000 census, the population was 2,313. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2,558.
Bayou La Batre is a fishing village with a seafood-processing harbor for fishing boats and shrimp boats. The local Chamber of Commerce has described the city as the "Seafood Capital of Alabama" for packaging seafood from hundreds of fishing boats.
Bayou La Batre was the first permanent settlement on the south Mobile County mainland and was founded in 1786, when French-born Joseph Bouzage (Bosarge) [1733-1795] was awarded a 1,259-acre (509 ha) Spanish land grant on the West Bank of the bayou (see history below). The modern City of Bayou La Batre was incorporated in 1955.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Bayou La Batre AL
Deciding on the right nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this article, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Bayou La Batre AL.
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