How to Find the Best Nursing Training Program near East Florence Alabama
Locating the best nursing school near East Florence AL may feel like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to look 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 in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are contemplating 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 expensive program or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several crucial additional things to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
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RN Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely East Florence AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing 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 responsibilities. 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
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 just two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the East Florence AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 2 year program after obtaining 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many East Florence AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near East Florence AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It's a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in East Florence AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also readies you to satisfy 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 agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some East Florence 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 considering 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It's also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the East Florence AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with East Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Choose the Right East Florence Nursing Program
Enrolling in the right nursing degree program is perhaps the most important phase to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted within this content, it is critical that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick 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 licensed registered nurse in East Florence Alabama.