How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Pinckard Alabama
Locating the right nursing school near Pinckard AL may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional considerations to investigate before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, such as Pinckard AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to support 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. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring 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 accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from 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 as little as two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pinckard AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally 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 period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering 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 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 course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at Pinckard AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient answer to finding the time to attend school for many Pinckard AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Pinckard AL or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Pinckard AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at 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. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Pinckard 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Pinckard AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Pinckard AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Enrolling in a Nursing School near Pinckard AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Pinckard 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.
Pinckard is located in southeastern Dale County at 31°18′46″N 85°32′45″W / 31.31278°N 85.54583°W / 31.31278; -85.54583 (31.312803, -85.545713). It is bordered to the east by the town of Midland City and to the northwest by the town of Newton. The northeast border of Pinckard follows the northeast side of U.S. Route 231, a four-lane highway which leads northwest to Ozark, the county seat, and southeast to Dothan.
As of the census of 2000, there were 667 people, 270 households, and 197 families residing in the town. The population density was 125.0 people per square mile (48.2/km²). There were 287 housing units at an average density of 53.8 per square mile (20.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 78.56% White, 17.84% Black or African American, 0.75% Native American, 0.15% Asian, and 2.70% from two or more races. 3.15% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 270 households out of which 26.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.7% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.7% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.96.
Select the Right Nursing College near Pinckard AL
Enrolling in the ideal nursing degree program is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. 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 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 pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Pinckard AL.
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