How to Find the Best RN Training Program Online in Mobile Alabama
Locating the best nursing college near Mobile AL may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
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RN Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Mobile AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available 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 receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Mobile AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps 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 earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at Alabama 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 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 achieving 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 acquired one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Mobile AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, 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 work and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask RN Schools
Once you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Mobile AL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
- 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. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Mobile AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Mobile 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Mobile AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Mobile AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Best Mobile Nursing College
Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to starting a new career in the medical care field. There are various aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you choose a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Mobile Alabama.