How to Select a Nursing Program near Coosada Alabama
Choosing the best nursing school near Coosada AL may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Coosada AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the treatment 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. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
There is more than one degree option 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Coosada AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 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 typically a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Coosada AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies 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 education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many Coosada AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Coosada AL or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Coosada 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Coosada 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 looking at 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Coosada AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Coosada AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Coosada AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Coosada 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 census of 2000, there were 1,382 people, 472 households, and 370 families residing in the town. The population density was 196.1 people per square mile (75.7/km2). There were 529 housing units at an average density of 75.1 per square mile (29.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 56.08% White, 42.55% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.14% Asian, 0.22% from other races, and 0.65% from two or more races. 0.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 472 households out of which 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.3% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.6% were non-families. 19.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.38.
In the town, the population was spread out with 31.9% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.
Choose the Right Nursing Program near Coosada AL
Choosing the right nursing program is potentially the most critical step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose 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 practicing nurse in Coosada AL.
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