How to Select a Nursing Program near Newton Alabama
Selecting the right nursing college near Newton AL may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to explore before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely Newton AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Newton AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit 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. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus properly 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 have to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Newton AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 sure that the education is state certified. As well as 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.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for many Newton AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Newton AL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up to the other schools.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Newton 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Newton 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Newton AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire 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 prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Newton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Newton AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Newton 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.
Cameron Jerrell Newton (born May 11, 1989) is an American football quarterback for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Auburn and was drafted as the first overall pick by the Panthers in the 2011 NFL Draft. Newton is the only player in the modern era to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship, and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft within a one-year span. He was the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year, is a three-time Pro Bowler, and was named the NFL MVP in 2015.
In his rookie year, Newton broke all-time NFL rookie records for passing and rushing yards. He became the first NFL quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his first game, shattering Peyton Manning's first-game record by 120 yards. He also broke Otto Graham's 61-year-old record for passing yards by any quarterback in an NFL debut. Newton went on to become the first rookie quarterback to throw for 4,000 yards in a season. He also ran for 14 touchdowns, more in a single season than any quarterback in NFL history, breaking Steve Grogan's 35-year-old record.
In 2015, Newton became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 30 touchdowns and rush for 10 in the same season (35 passing, 10 rushing). He also became the only quarterback ever to have 300 yards passing, 5 touchdown passes, and over 100 yards rushing in the same game. Newton capped off the 2015 season by capturing MVP honors and leading the Panthers to a 15–1 record and a trip to Super Bowl 50.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Newton AL
Selecting the right nursing degree program is probably the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical 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 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 RN in Newton AL.
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