How to Pick a Nursing Program in Orange Beach Alabama
Searching for the best nursing program in Orange Beach AL may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly school or the one that is local to your house is probably not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system in Orange Beach AL. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Orange Beach AL with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in Orange Beach AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Orange Beach AL healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Orange Beach AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus 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. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to contact the Orange Beach AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time period, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it should be Orange Beach AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of training mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Orange Beach AL to make certain that the training is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Orange Beach AL healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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 job and family commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Orange Beach AL and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available for non-accredited schools in Orange Beach AL.
- 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some 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 provides an outstanding education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. 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 contact some nearby Orange Beach AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Orange Beach AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Orange Beach AL clinical environment. Essentially all Alabama nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Degree in Orange Beach AL
Picking the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical step to starting a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you should consider when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Orange Beach AL.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not merely the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you need to ready some approaches about how you would like to address them. Given that there are numerous variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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