How to Select a Nursing School near Grove Hill Alabama
Selecting the right nursing college near Grove Hill AL may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to check into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Grove Hill AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Grove Hill AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 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 may want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Grove Hill AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length 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 obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Grove Hill AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Grove Hill AL or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 organization. Besides helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Grove Hill AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Grove Hill 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 colleges 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 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 good reputation within the Grove Hill AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Grove Hill AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Grove Hill AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Grove Hill 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.
Grove Hill, Alabama
The area that is now Grove Hill was originally inhabited by Creek and Choctaw Indians. The county seat of Clarke County was established at what later became Grove Hill in 1832 as the spot was most central to the rest of the county. Known variously as Smithville, then Macon, the name Grove Hill was selected around 1850 for the large grove of oak trees on the plateau. The town was officially incorporated and chartered in 1929. In 1853, a yellow fever epidemic struck the town, killing many residents, almost wiping out the town.
The Grove Hill area has numerous sites on the National Register of Historic Places including the Alston-Cobb House, Bush House, John A. Coate House, Cobb House, Dickinson House, Fort Sinquefield, and the Grove Hill Courthouse Square Historic District.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,570 people, 615 households, and 402 families residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 56.6% White, 41.3% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.5% from other races, and 1.0% from two or more races. 2.0% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Grove Hill AL
Selecting the right nursing school is arguably the most important step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are various variables that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is essential that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Grove Hill AL.
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