Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Palmerdale AL

How to Find the Right Nursing Degree Program near Palmerdale Alabama

Palmerdale AL pediatric nurse holding babyFinding the best nursing school near Palmerdale AL may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional things to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Palmerdale AL Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Palmerdale AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees

There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Palmerdale AL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN and LVN Programs

Palmerdale AL geriatric nurse with patientThere are generally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other 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 Diplomas

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Palmerdale AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction 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 mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.

Nursing Online Schools

female student attending nursing school online in Palmerdale ALAttending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for some Palmerdale AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous 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 household responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Palmerdale AL or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Palmerdale AL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with 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 provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Palmerdale 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 programs you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Palmerdale AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Palmerdale AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Palmerdale AL?

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

Palmerdale, Alabama

Palmerdale is an area in Jefferson County, Alabama, United States. Most of the community falls within the city limits of Pinson. Palmerdale is located on Alabama State Route 75, 4 miles (6.4 km) north-northeast of the downtown area of Pinson.

The community traces its history back to the Great Depression and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Resettlement Administration, part of the New Deal. Palmerdale Homestead was established to bring impoverished people out of urban areas, setting them up with small farms in nearby rural areas. Originally named Palmer Station for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad station that served the area, the name was changed to Palmerdale in the 1930s.

Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Palmerdale AL

Palmerdale AL Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyDeciding on the right nursing degree program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Palmerdale AL.

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