How to Pick the Right Nursing Program Online in East Florence Alabama
Finding the right nursing program near East Florence AL may seem like a difficult endeavor, especially if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to look into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let's first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care 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 job is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the East Florence AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 typically a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) so as to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Courses
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to receive 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 facility. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for some East Florence 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 minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Training Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near East Florence AL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in East Florence AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a specific 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 preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some East Florence 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 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 substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the East Florence AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Check if the schools have associations with East Florence AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Best East Florence Nursing Degree Program
Picking the ideal nursing college is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is important that you pick a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce 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 desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in East Florence Alabama.