How to Find the Right Nursing School near Cragford Alabama
Selecting the right nursing college near Cragford AL may feel like a formidable project, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various important additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Cragford AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Cragford AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive 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 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received 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 fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Cragford AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Cragford AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Cragford AL or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. Besides helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Cragford 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Cragford 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Cragford AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Cragford AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Cragford AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cragford 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.
Clay County, Alabama
Clay County is a county of the U.S. state of Alabama. As of the 2010 census the population was 13,932. Its county seat is Ashland. Its name is in honor of Henry Clay, famous American statesman, member of the United States Senate from Kentucky and United States Secretary of State in the 19th century. It was the last dry county in Alabama with no wet cities within its boundaries, until a vote on March 1, 2016 approved the sale of alcohol in Lineville and Ashland. 
Clay County was established on December 7, 1866, from land taken from Randolph and Talladega counties. Named after the famous statesman Henry Clay, the county seat itself was named after his estate in Lexington, Kentucky called "Ashland". The county was covered with a heavy growth of trees, and a part of the territory was occupied by the Creek Indians. The early pioneers acquired the lands by government entry and the Indian lands by public auction. The families came wholly from Fayette County, Georgia. Clay County was formed for geographic reasons. The citizens of the area had a difficult time reaching the county seat of Wedowee in Randolph County because of the Tallapoosa River to the east. Talladega was difficult to reach because of the intervening mountains. Even today, Clay County is one of only three counties in Alabama to have no U.S. highways in its boundaries. Ashland was a mining center, particularly for graphite.
As of the census of 2010, there were 13,932 people, 5,670 households, and 3,978 families residing in the county. The population density was 23 people per square mile (9/km2). There were 6,776 housing units at an average density of 11 per square mile (4/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 81.7% White(non-Hispanic), 14.8% Black or African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 1.2% from other races, and 1.7% from two or more races. 2.9% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Right Nursing School near Cragford AL
Picking the ideal nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Cragford AL.
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