How to Pick a Nursing College near Letohatchee Alabama
Selecting the best nursing program near Letohatchee AL may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Letohatchee AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from 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 two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Letohatchee AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to 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 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Letohatchee AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but additionally 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 certain that the education is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend college for some Letohatchee AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may 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 job and family obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Letohatchee AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Letohatchee AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Letohatchee 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 schools you are looking at 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 dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Letohatchee AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Letohatchee AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Letohatchee AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Letohatchee 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.
Letohatchee is an unincorporated community in Lowndes County, Alabama, United States. It has a very small population and four businesses. The community is part of the Montgomery Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Letohatchee is located just south of Montgomery in Lowndes County. In the 21st century, much of Letohatchee is uninhabited, with large pastures and uncut woods. Its area is estimated at 18 miles across.
This was an area of extensive cotton cultivation into the early decades of the 20th century, and Lowndes County was majority black. Whites' efforts to maintain white supremacy raised tensions in the black-majority county. The Democrat-dominated legislature disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites by provisions of a new constitution in 1901.
Select the Right Nursing School near Letohatchee AL
Choosing the ideal nursing college is perhaps the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Letohatchee AL.
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