How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Fort Payne Alabama
Searching for the right nursing college near Fort Payne AL may feel like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Fort Payne AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help 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 along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options available 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 continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Fort Payne AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 usually a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Training
There are principally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and usually require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Fort Payne AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 period of training mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also 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 certain that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some Fort Payne AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Fort Payne AL or on the web, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Fort Payne AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specific 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 outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Fort Payne 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 programs 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Fort Payne AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Fort Payne AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Fort Payne AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Fort Payne 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.
Fort Payne, Alabama
In the 19th century, the site of Fort Payne was the location of Willstown, an important village of the Cherokee people. For a time it was the home of Sequoyah, a silversmith who invented the Cherokee syllabary, enabling reading and writing in the language. The settlement was commonly called Willstown, after its headman, a red-headed mixed-race man named Will. According to Major John Norton, a more accurate transliteration would have been Titsohili. The son of a Cherokee adoptee of the Mohawk people, Norton grew up among Native Americans and traveled extensively throughout the region in the early 19th century. He stayed at Willstown several times.
During the 1830s prior to Indian removal, the US Army under command of Major John Payne built a fort here that was used to intern Cherokees until relocation to Oklahoma. Their forced exile became known as the Trail of Tears.
By the 1860s, Fort Payne and the surrounding area were still sparsely settled. It had no strategic targets and was the scene of only minor skirmishes between Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. About the time of the Second Battle of Chattanooga, a large Union force briefly entered the county, but it did not engage substantial Confederate forces.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Fort Payne AL
Picking the ideal nursing school is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are many aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Fort Payne AL.
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