Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Greenville AL

How to Pick a Nursing Degree Program near Greenville Alabama

Greenville AL pediatric nurse holding babySelecting the best nursing program near Greenville AL may feel like a challenging endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine 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 offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Greenville AL Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Greenville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Observing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Taking care of health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Greenville AL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually 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 desire 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 usually 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Training

Greenville AL geriatric nurse with patientThere are principally two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type 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 warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Programs

In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Greenville AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.

Nursing Online Schools

female student attending nursing school online in Greenville ALAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many Greenville AL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Greenville AL or online, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you get a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Greenville 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for each 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 Greenville AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 Greenville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Greenville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Greenville AL?

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

Greenville, Alabama

Greenville is a city in Butler County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census, the population was 8,135.[3] The city is the county seat of Butler County and is known as the Camellia City. The movement to change the official Alabama state flower from the goldenrod to the camellia originated in Greenville with legislative sponsors LaMont Glass and H.B. Taylor.[4]

Greenville was first settled in 1819. Its original name was Buttsville,[5] but after becoming the county seat in 1822, its name was changed to Greenville, in remembrance of the former locale in South Carolina of many of the original settlers.[6][7] The first county seat was at Fort Dale, a fortification that was named for Sam Dale, who fought to defend the area during the Creek War. The site of Fort Dale lies on the north of the city near the Fort Dale Cemetery, along what is now Alabama Highway 185.

The namesake of the county, Captain William Butler, was killed during the Creek War. He is buried in the Pioneer Cemetery, which is across from the oldest church in Butler County, the First United Methodist Church of Greenville.

Select the Right Nursing Program near Greenville AL

Greenville AL Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyPicking the ideal nursing program is probably the most important phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are many factors that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Greenville AL.

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