Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Mc Shan AL

How to Enroll In a Nursing School near Mc Shan Alabama

Mc Shan AL pediatric nurse holding babySelecting the right nursing college near Mc Shan AL may seem like a difficult project, especially if you aren’t sure 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 critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities

Mc Shan AL Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Mc Shan AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Overseeing patients
  • Conducting physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Maintaining health records and charts

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 Degree Options

There are multiple degrees 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 just 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Mc Shan AL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is normally 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 might 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees

Mc Shan AL geriatric nurse with patientThere are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Courses

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Mc Shan AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction directed and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the education is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.

Nursing Online Programs

female student attending nursing school online in Mc Shan ALAttending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Mc Shan AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even additional 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. So if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Mc Shan AL or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of 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 already pointed out, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Mc Shan AL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers 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 online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 call some Mc Shan 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 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the Mc Shan AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Mc Shan AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Mc Shan AL?

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

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Select the Right Nursing Program near Mc Shan AL

Mc Shan AL Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyPicking the right nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist 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 drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Mc Shan AL.

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