Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Louisville AL

How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Louisville Alabama

Louisville AL pediatric nurse holding babyLocating the right nursing college near Louisville AL may seem like a complicated endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate 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 contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to explore before you make a decision 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 system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Louisville AL Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Louisville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job 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 area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Coordinating care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Instructing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are multiple degrees 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Louisville AL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally 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 utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a more advanced degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 commonly a two 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 attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Certificates and Degrees

Louisville AL geriatric nurse with patientThere are basically two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice 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, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 guarantees that the core curriculum adequately 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 many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Louisville AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 education is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.

Online Nursing Schools

female student attending nursing school online in Louisville ALEnrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend college for many Louisville AL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Schools

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Louisville AL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.

  • 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. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Louisville AL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a specific 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 an exceptional education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Louisville 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 programs 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Louisville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Louisville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Louisville AL?

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

Louisville, Alabama

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 612 people, 242 households, and 168 families residing in the town. The population density was 222.8 people per square mile (85.9/km²). There were 271 housing units at an average density of 98.6 per square mile (38.0/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 52.94% White, 40.69% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, 5.23% from other races, and 0.49% from two or more races. 6.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 242 households out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.5% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the town, the population was spread out with 23.7% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 23.2% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 87.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.3 males.

Select the Right Nursing Degree near Louisville AL

Louisville AL Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyDeciding on the ideal nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is important 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 checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Louisville AL.

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