How to Choose a Nursing Degree Program near Hayden Alabama
Locating the best nursing program near Hayden AL may seem like a complex undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, 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 determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your home is probably not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Hayden AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered 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 just 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Hayden AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a more advanced 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 qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 achieving 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 received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, 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 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Hayden AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 period of instruction required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 might be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Hayden AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Hayden AL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Hayden 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) along with 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 imperative that the school you are attending not only provides a top-notch education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Hayden 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 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 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 Hayden AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Hayden AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Hayden AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Hayden 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.
Hayden is located in southwestern Blount County at 33°53'36.236" North, 86°45'25.139" West (33.893399, -86.756983). Hayden Mountain is a broad, low ridge that rises to the northwest above the town. Alabama State Route 160 passes through the center of the town, leading 5 miles (8 km) southwest to Interstate 65 north of Warrior, and northeast 13 miles (21 km) to Cleveland.
At the 2000 census, there were 470 people, 191 households and 136 families residing in the town. The population density was 499.1 per square mile (193.1/km²). There were 207 housing units at an average density of 219.8 per square mile (85.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 91.91% White, 6.60% Black or African American, 0.64% Native American, 0.43% Asian, and 0.43% from two or more races. 0.21% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 191 households of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.3% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 2.98.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Hayden AL
Choosing the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most crucial step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various variables that you must take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is critical that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Hayden AL.
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