How to Select a Nursing Program near Cook Springs Alabama
Finding the best nursing school near Cook Springs AL may feel like a complex project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, 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 determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to check out before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together 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 many different medical settings, such as Cook Springs AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the treatment 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. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Degree Options
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 as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cook Springs AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 want 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 normally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively 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 have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Cook Springs AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of training directed and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 sure that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Cook Springs AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Cook Springs AL or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Cook Springs AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cook Springs AL 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 colleges 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Cook Springs AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Cook Springs AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Cook Springs AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cook Springs 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.
David Cook (singer)
David Roland Cook (born December 20, 1982) is an American rock singer-songwriter, who rose to fame after winning the seventh season of American Idol in 2008. Prior to Idol he released an independent album entitled Analog Heart. This was followed by his post-Idol major-label debut David Cook which was released on November 18, 2008, and has since been certified platinum by the RIAA. His second major album This Loud Morning was released on June 28, 2011. His third post American Idol and fourth overall studio album Digital Vein was released on September 18, 2015.
Cook was born in Houston, Texas, and raised in Blue Springs, Missouri. His parents are Beth Foraker and Stanley Cook. He is the middle of three brothers – the late Adam Cook being older and Andrew younger. He is of German, Irish, and English descent.
Cook's interest in music began at a young age. He began singing in second grade, when his elementary school music teacher, Mrs. Gentry, gave him a part in a school Christmas performance. He proceeded to perform in virtually every Christmas and PTA program. He received his first guitar, a Fender Stratocaster, at the age of 13. He also participated in choir and drama programs in middle school and high school. At Blue Springs South High School, he performed in musicals, including The Music Man, West Side Story, and Singin' in the Rain. In addition to this, he was an active member in the Blue Springs South High School National Forensics League (or NFL), where he qualified for the national tournament twice for duo interpretation, an event that relies on performance and interpretation of a literary work. He graduated from Blue Springs South High School in 2001.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Cook Springs AL
Selecting the right nursing school is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of variables that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cook Springs AL.
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