Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Grady AL

How to Choose a Nursing Degree Program near Grady Alabama

Grady AL pediatric nurse holding babySelecting the right nursing school near Grady AL may seem like a challenging project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Grady AL Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Grady AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Grady 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 centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

Once 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.

LVN and LPN Programs

Grady AL geriatric nurse with patientThere are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.

CNA Courses

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Grady AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 education 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

female student attending nursing school online in Grady ALEnrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for some Grady AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

What to Ask Nursing Programs

Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Grady AL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Grady AL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Grady 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 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 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 substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Grady AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Grady AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Grady AL?

Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Grady 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.

Grady, Alabama

Grady is an unincorporated community in Montgomery County Alabama, United States. Grady is located about 25 miles (40 km) south of Montgomery. It is at the intersection of Montgomery County Road 28 (Meriwether Trail) and Mountgomery County Road 1 (Ramer-Grady Road). The CSX railroad runs north and south through Grady. Near Grady on the Fannin Mill Rd. is the Cosmos Broadcasting Tower for WSFA Channel 12. South Montgomery County Academy, a private K-12 school is located in Grady.

A US Postal Office is in Grady. Its ZIP code is 36036. There are two rural mail routes originating from this office that serve areas within a 20-mile (32 km) radius of Grady. In the mid-1880s there was a place known as Tucker's Crossroads in the southern part of Montgomery County, Alabama. Wanting an official name for the community, the people suggested to the postal service that it be named "Bell Station" or Tucker's Crossroads. Mr. G. T. Holiday, who would become the first postmaster, received a letter from the postal authorities that the suggested names "Bell Station" and Tucker's Crossroads could not be used. Mr. Holiday having just read a book entitled the "Life of Henry W. Grady, suggested that the place be named "Grady" and the government adopted it on April 26, 1890. The railroad between Montgomery and Troy was completed in 1889 and the first train to come through what would become Grady was on July 1, 1889.

Select the Right Nursing School near Grady AL

Grady AL Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyEnrolling in the ideal nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Grady AL.

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