How to Pick a Nursing College in Muscle Shoals Alabama
Choosing the best nursing school in Muscle Shoals AL may seem like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system in Muscle Shoals AL. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Muscle Shoals AL with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Muscle Shoals AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Muscle Shoals AL healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Muscle Shoals AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 normally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Muscle Shoals AL board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd alternative is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Muscle Shoals AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for Muscle Shoals AL to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Muscle Shoals AL healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Muscle Shoals AL and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your selection 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 verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered for non-accredited schools in Muscle Shoals AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some nearby Muscle Shoals 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Muscle Shoals AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Muscle Shoals AL clinical environment. Essentially all Alabama nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College in Muscle Shoals AL
Choosing the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you should think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Muscle Shoals AL.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the questions that recruiters frequently ask nursing prospects is "What made you pick nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not merely the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what qualities and skills you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to prepare some strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you possess that make you an outstanding nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to formulate your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to include to impress the recruiter.
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