Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Saint Stephens AL

How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Saint Stephens Alabama

Saint Stephens AL pediatric nurse holding babySearching for the best nursing program near Saint Stephens AL may seem like a difficult project, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are various crucial additional aspects 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 health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.

Registered Nurse Job Functions

Saint Stephens AL Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Saint Stephens AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role 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. Some of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Providing medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Informing patients and their families
  • Keeping health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for 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.

Nursing Degrees

There are multiple degrees 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 continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Saint Stephens 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 healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
  • Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

After a graduating student has attained 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.

LPN and LVN Training

Saint Stephens AL geriatric nurse with patientThere are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides 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 should 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 syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Programs

In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Saint Stephens AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 can be other prerequisites as well.

Online Nursing Programs

female student attending nursing school online in Saint Stephens ALEnrolling in nursing colleges online is growing into a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some Saint Stephens AL students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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 work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Colleges

Once you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Saint Stephens AL or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school as well as the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. 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 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Saint Stephens AL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Saint Stephens 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 looking at 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Saint Stephens AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
  • Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Saint Stephens AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Saint Stephens AL?

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

Saint Stephens meridian

The Saint Stephens meridian, in longitude 88° 02′ west from Greenwich, begins at the initial point (Ellicott's Corner), on the base line, in latitude 31° north, passes through Saint Stephens, Alabama, extends south to Mobile Bay and north to latitude 33° 06′ 20″, and governs the surveys in the southern district of Alabama, and in Pearl River district lying east of the river and south of the Choctaw Baseline, in latitude 31° 52′ 40″ north, in the state of Mississippi.

Pick the Right Nursing Program near Saint Stephens AL

Saint Stephens AL Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyPicking the right nursing degree program is arguably the most critical step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is essential that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Saint Stephens AL.

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