How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Ashford Alabama
Locating the right nursing school in Ashford AL may seem like a complicated undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are several key additional aspects to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical delivery system in Ashford AL. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Ashford AL with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 Available
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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Ashford AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Ashford AL healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Ashford AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed 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 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 generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Ashford AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Ashford AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program 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 required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for Ashford AL to make sure that the training course is state approved. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Ashford AL healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Ashford AL and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Ashford AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also preps 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 reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Ashford 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 superb reputation within the Ashford AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Ashford AL clinical setting. Virtually all Alabama nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Program in Ashford AL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is arguably the most important first step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you must think about when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Ashford AL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the questions that hiring managers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for becoming a nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining primarily to nursing, in addition to a significant number of general interview questions, so you need to ready a number of approaches about how you would like to address them. Considering there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the work appeals to you as well as the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but jot down some concepts and topics that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to develop your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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