How to Enroll In a Nursing College in Excel Alabama
Selecting the right nursing college in Excel AL may seem like a complicated endeavor, particularly 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 acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Having said that, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Selecting the least costly school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several essential additional factors to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the medical care delivery system in Excel AL. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job 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 few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Excel AL with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally 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 Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And 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 six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Excel AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Excel AL healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher 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 Excel AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a two year program after obtaining 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 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Excel AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Excel AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately 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 instruction can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated 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 minimum period of instruction required and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Excel 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 can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is emerging as a more preferred way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local Excel AL healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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 commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have selected which nursing program to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Excel AL and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two points 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 see how your selection compares to the field.
- 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 agency. In addition to helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Excel AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Certain states require a specified 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 excellent education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Excel 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 displeased 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 Excel AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Excel AL clinical setting. Essentially all Alabama nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Program in Excel AL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are many variables that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Excel AL.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you exceptional at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you should prepare several approaches about how you want to address them. Because there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you along with the talents you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few concepts and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can assist you to formulate your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to wow the interviewer.
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