How to Choose a Nursing Program near Dora Alabama
Finding the best nursing program near Dora AL may seem like a complicated project, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Dora AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered 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 earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Dora AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice 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, aside from providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 Dora AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep 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 certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also 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 certain 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for some Dora AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly 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 numerous 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 commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Dora AL or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Dora AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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. Many states require a specific 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 provides a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Dora 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 schools you are considering 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 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 confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Dora AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Dora AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Dora AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dora 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.
Dora is a city in Walker County, Alabama, United States founded by Cole Smith. It initially incorporated as the town of Horse Creek on February 18, 1897, but changed its name to Dora in 1906. At the 2010 census the population was 2,025, down from 2,413 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,413 people, 984 households, and 711 families residing in the city. The population density was 319.9 people per square mile (123.6/km2). There were 1,080 housing units at an average density of 143.2 per square mile (55.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 80.61% White, 16.66% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 0.21% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 0.08% from other races, and 2.07% from two or more races. 0.12% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 984 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.7% were non-families. 25.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 2.93.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Dora AL
Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Dora AL.
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