Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Scottsboro AL

How to Select a Nursing College near Scottsboro Alabama

Scottsboro AL pediatric nurse holding babyLocating the right nursing college near Scottsboro AL may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Duties

Scottsboro AL Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Scottsboro 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 specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

  • Administering medications
  • Monitoring patients
  • Performing physical examinations
  • Managing care
  • Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
  • Educating patients and their families
  • Managing health records and charts

Nurses with a more advanced 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 basic illnesses or injuries.

Nursing Degrees Available

There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Scottsboro AL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards earn a more advanced 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 allowed 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 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 normally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.

When a graduating student has attained 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.

LPN Programs

Scottsboro AL geriatric nurse with patientThere are basically two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind 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 attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.

CNA Certificates

Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Scottsboro AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction required and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.

Online Nursing Schools

female student attending nursing school online in Scottsboro ALEnrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for 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 practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some Scottsboro AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary 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 such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.

Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs

Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Scottsboro AL or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.

  • 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 premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Scottsboro 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
  • Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Scottsboro 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 superb reputation within the Scottsboro AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. 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 as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Scottsboro AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Scottsboro AL?

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

Scottsboro, Alabama

Scottsboro is a city in Jackson County, Alabama, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population of the city is 14,770. Named for its founder Robert Scott, the city is the county seat of Jackson County.

From its incorporation in 1870 until 1890, it was the largest community in Jackson County, losing the distinction from 1900 to 1920 to Bridgeport,[3] but reclaiming the title in 1930 and holding it since that time.

It is located 30 miles each from the state boundaries of Georgia to the east (Dade County) and Tennessee to the north, about 45 miles from Huntsville, Alabama to the west and about 55 miles from Chattanooga, Tennessee to the northeast.

Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Scottsboro AL

Scottsboro AL Neonatal Nurse with newborn babySelecting the ideal nursing school is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are many aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Scottsboro AL.

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