How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Grand Bay Alabama
Locating the best nursing college near Grand Bay AL may feel like a challenging project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Grand Bay AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 is more than one degree option available 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 advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Grand Bay AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 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 typically 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.
When a graduating student has acquired 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are basically two academic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time period, generally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it should 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 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 have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Grand Bay 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that 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 recommendation is to get in touch 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 requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for some Grand Bay AL students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Grand Bay AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Grand Bay AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria 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 specified 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 delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Grand Bay AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their assessments 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Grand Bay AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Grand Bay AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Grand Bay AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Grand Bay 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.
Grand Bay, Alabama
Grand Bay is located at 30°28′27″N 88°20′31″W / 30.47417°N 88.34194°W / 30.47417; -88.34194 (30.474055, -88.341836), along U.S. Route 90 midway between the Alabama/Mississippi state line and the town of St. Elmo, a few miles inland from the Mississippi Sound.
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,918 people, 1,364 households, and 1,078 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 452.3 people per square mile (174.7/km²). There were 1,441 housing units at an average density of 166.4 per square mile (64.2/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 89.00% White, 8.88% Black or African American, 0.23% Native American, 0.79% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.13% from other races, and 0.92% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.87% of the population.
There were 1,364 households out of which 37.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 65.5% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.9% were non-families. 18.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.19.
Select the Right Nursing School near Grand Bay AL
Picking the right nursing college is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is important that you select a nursing school 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 create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Grand Bay AL.
More Nursing School Locations in Alabama
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- Online Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) | College of Nursing
University of Alabama - Profile, Rankings and Data | US News Best Colleges
University of Alabama's ranking in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges is National Universities, #148. Its in-state tuition and fees are $11,620; out-of-state tuition and fees are $31,090.