Become a Nurse | Nursing Schools Semmes AL

How to Pick a Nursing Program near Semmes Alabama

Semmes AL pediatric nurse holding babySearching for the best nursing college near Semmes AL may feel like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional considerations to explore before you determine 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 healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.

Registered Nurse Job Activities

Semmes AL Registered Nurse (RN)Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Semmes AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:

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

Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally 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 Available

There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Semmes AL area.

  • Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a higher degree.
  • Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 might want 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 usually a two year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.

After 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) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.

LVN and LPN Training

Semmes AL geriatric nurse with patientThere are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 Certificates

Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Semmes AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 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 have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 training course 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 might be additional requirements as well.

Online Nursing Degrees

female student attending nursing school online in Semmes ALAttending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend college for some Semmes AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. 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 job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.

Questions to Ask Nursing Programs

Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Semmes AL or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.

  • Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Semmes AL for non-accredited schools.
  • Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Certain states require a certain 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 a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
  • Reputation. Look at internet rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Semmes 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Semmes AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
  • Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Semmes AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.

Enrolling in a Nursing School near Semmes AL?

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

Semmes, Alabama

Semmes (pronounced /sɛmz/, locally /sɪmz/) is a city in western Mobile County, Alabama, in the Mobile metropolitan statistical area. Formerly an unincorporated community, voters in Semmes approved incorporation of a part of the community as the city of Semmes on August 17, 2010.[3] After a statutory enumeration, or census, the town was officially declared incorporated on May 2, 2011, by Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis.[4] The statutory census indicated that the town has a population of 2,897 people. It covers 2,100 acres (850 ha).[5] The current Mayor is David Baker. He is the 2nd Mayor of the city, succeeding Judy Hale.

Semmes is located at 30.778N, -88.259W. Elevation is 256 feet.[6] The Semmes area is bounded to the North by the Citronelle area, bounded to the East by the cities of Saraland and Prichard, bounded to the South by the city of Mobile, and finally bounded to the West by Big Creek Lake.

Semmes is on the central Gulf Coast and has a subtropical climate, which consists of warm, wet winters and very hot, very humid summers. Semmes is also vulnerable to hurricanes, which the area frequently experiences.

Pick the Right Nursing College near Semmes AL

Semmes AL Neonatal Nurse with newborn babyPicking the ideal nursing program is potentially the most crucial step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Semmes AL.

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