How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Langston Alabama
Locating the best nursing school near Langston AL may seem like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many key additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Langston AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Langston 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 healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is commonly 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 desire 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 normally a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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 contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, commonly about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to 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 core curriculum 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Langston AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain 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 suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Langston AL students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Langston AL or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Langston AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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. Some states require a specified 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 delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Langston 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 colleges you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to complete 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 superb reputation within the Langston AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Langston AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Langston AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Langston 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.
Langston is a town in Jackson County, Alabama, United States, and is included in the Chattanooga-Cleveland-Dalton, TN-GA-AL Combined Statistical Area. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town was 270, up from 254. Langston initially incorporated in 1899. At some point after 1920, it disincorporated and did not reincorporate again until 1980 (after the census was taken that year, since it did not appear on it). Its peak population was in 1920, when it had a population of 500.
Langston was settled in the 1810s, and was initially known as "Coffeetown" after the Coffee brothers, who were among the early settlers. A post office was established in 1845 with Langston Coffee as the first postmaster. In 1869, most of Coffeetown's residents moved to Texas, and the following year, James Morgan sold lots for the creation of a new town. The new town was named "Langston" after Langston Coffee.
Langston initially thrived as a river port along the Tennessee River, eventually growing to include nine stores and a blacksmith shop. With the rise of railroad traffic in the late 19th century and automobile traffic in the early 20th century, however, the town began to decline. The construction of Guntersville Dam by the Tennessee Valley Authority in the late 1930s flooded a significant portion of the town, further reducing its population.
Choose the Right Nursing College near Langston AL
Enrolling in the right nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is critical that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Langston AL.
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