How to Select a Nursing Program near Dadeville Alabama
Searching for the best nursing college near Dadeville AL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Dadeville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dadeville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are generally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Dadeville AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain 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 may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend classes for many Dadeville AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Dadeville AL or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 agency. Besides helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Dadeville AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Dadeville 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Dadeville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Dadeville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Dadeville AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dadeville 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.
Dadeville was named for Major Francis Langhorne Dade, who died in the Seminole War in Florida in 1835. The town was granted a charter in 1837 and was first incorporated in 1858. It lost its charter during the Civil War, and was incorporated a second time in 1878. Dadeville has been the Tallapoosa County seat since 1838.
Dadeville was home to the Graefenberg Medical Institute, Alabama's first medical school, which operated from 1852 until the outbreak of the Civil War. Attempts to revive the school after the war failed, and the building burned in 1873.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Dadeville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.
Select the Right Nursing School near Dadeville AL
Choosing the ideal nursing college is perhaps the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Dadeville AL.
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