How to Enroll In the Best Nursing Training Program Online in Princeton Alabama
Finding the best nursing program near Princeton AL may feel like a difficult endeavor, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Deciding on the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various crucial additional factors to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let's first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together 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 healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Princeton AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 instance, 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Princeton AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor's. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don't forget to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for many Princeton AL students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. So if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient 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 Princeton AL or on the internet, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares 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 agency. In addition to helping ensure that you receive a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Princeton AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Princeton 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 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 dissatisfied 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 good reputation within the Princeton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain 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 certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Princeton AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Best Princeton Nursing Program
Deciding on the ideal nursing school is arguably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is important that you select a nursing college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Princeton Alabama.