How to Pick a Nursing Program in Semmes Alabama
Searching for the right nursing college in Semmes AL may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the best way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Semmes AL. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Semmes AL with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from 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 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in Semmes AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Semmes AL healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at Semmes AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Semmes AL board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Semmes AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with 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 Semmes AL to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Semmes AL healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Semmes AL and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Semmes AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an exceptional education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some local Semmes 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 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 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 verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Semmes AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Semmes AL clinical environment. Virtually all Alabama nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Semmes AL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Semmes AL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to review questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters often ask nursing candidates is "What made you choose nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not merely the private reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at what you do. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a significant number of typical interview questions, so you must organize some strategies about how you would like to address them. Since there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but jot down some ideas and topics that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
Some Cities in Alabama You May be Interested In