Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools River Falls AL

How to Choose a Nursing College near River Falls Alabama

River Falls AL pediatric nurse holding babyChoosing the best nursing school near River Falls AL may feel like a complicated undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional considerations to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

River Falls AL Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely River Falls AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Managing 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 administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degree Options

There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the River Falls AL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 generally a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN Training

River Falls AL geriatric nurse with patientThere are basically two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Programs

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at River Falls 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 required to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.

Nursing Online Schools

female student attending nursing school online in River Falls ALAttending nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some River Falls AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family obligations have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have decided on which nursing program to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near River Falls AL or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two factors that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up 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 ensure that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in River Falls AL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different 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. Many states require a specified 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 outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some River Falls 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 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the River Falls AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with River Falls AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near River Falls AL?

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

River Falls, Alabama

River Falls is located 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Andalusia, the county seat, at 31°21′N 86°32′W / 31.350°N 86.533°W / 31.350; -86.533 (31.3519, -86.5367).[4] The town lies along the Conecuh River. A hydroelectric dam creating Point A Lake on the river is located at the northeast corner of the town. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 7.1 square miles (18.4 km2), of which 6.8 square miles (17.7 km2) is land and 0.27 square miles (0.7 km2), or 3.67%, is water.[3]

As of the census[7] of 2000, there were 616 people, 272 households, and 174 families residing in the town. The population density was 88.9 people per square mile (34.3/km²). There were 307 housing units at an average density of 44.3 per square mile (17.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 62.50% White, 36.04% Black or African American, 0.65% Native American, and 0.81% from two or more races. 0.81% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 272 households out of which 27.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.0% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.89.

Select the Right Nursing Program near River Falls AL

River Falls AL Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyPicking the right nursing school is probably the most important step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have emphasized within this article, it is critical that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in River Falls AL.

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