How to Select a Nursing Program near New Brockton Alabama
Choosing the best nursing school near New Brockton AL may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your residence is most likely not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including New Brockton AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising 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 deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the New Brockton AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying 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 seek, 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 syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 training can be obtained at New Brockton AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally 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 sure 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for some New Brockton AL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental 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 like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited 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.
What to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near New Brockton AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price 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 only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in New Brockton AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some New Brockton 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the New Brockton AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with New Brockton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near New Brockton AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater New Brockton 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.
New Brockton, Alabama
New Brockton is located east of the center of Coffee County at 31°22′52″N 85°55′28″W / 31.38111°N 85.92444°W / 31.38111; -85.92444 (31.381138, -85.924339). The city of Enterprise is directly to the southeast.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,146 people, 469 households, and 327 families residing in the town. The population density was 143 people per square mile (55.4/km²). There were 561 housing units at an average density of 70.1 per square mile (27.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 70.1% White, 21.0% Black or African American, 5.5% Native American, 0.2% from other races, and 2.7% from two or more races. 2.5% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 469 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.3% were married couples living together, 15.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.3% were non-families. 27.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 2.97.
Select the Right Nursing College near New Brockton AL
Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is potentially the most important step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in New Brockton AL.
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