How to Enroll In the Best RN School near Phenix City Alabama
Choosing the right nursing school near Phenix City AL may seem like a difficult endeavor, particularly if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
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Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Phenix City AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master's Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And 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 advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Phenix City AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 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 might wish to advance 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 attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for some Phenix City AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of 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, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask RN Training Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Phenix City AL or online, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you receive a premium education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Phenix City 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It's important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Phenix City 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 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Phenix City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Enroll in the Best Phenix City Nursing School
Picking the ideal nursing program is potentially the most crucial first step to starting a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this post, it is essential that you pick a nursing college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Phenix City Alabama.