How to Pick the Best Nursing Course Online in Phenix City Alabama
Choosing the best nursing school near Phenix City AL may seem like a complex project, particularly if you aren't sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let's first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
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RN Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Phenix City AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Offered
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Phenix City AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Phenix City AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Phenix City AL or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the other programs.
- 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. Besides helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Phenix City AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations 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 call some Phenix City 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 colleges 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 unhappy 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 Phenix City AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Phenix City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Best Phenix City Nursing Degree Program
Enrolling in the ideal nursing school is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is important that you select a nursing school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Phenix City Alabama.