How to Select a Nursing Program in Fruitdale Alabama
Finding the right nursing program in Fruitdale AL may seem like a formidable endeavor, particularly if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is local to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to choose a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the medical care delivery system in Fruitdale AL. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in Fruitdale 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in Fruitdale AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Fruitdale AL medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Fruitdale AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to check with the Fruitdale AL board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are principally two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Fruitdale AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 Fruitdale AL to make sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local Fruitdale AL healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily 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 job and household commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Colleges
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following checklist to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Fruitdale AL and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Fruitdale AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some local Fruitdale AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN programs you are looking at 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fruitdale AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Fruitdale AL clinical setting. Virtually all Alabama nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Fruitdale AL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care field. There are a number of aspects that you need to consider when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Fruitdale AL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When getting ready to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers often ask nursing prospects is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a nurse, but also what attributes and skills you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, in addition to a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize several strategies about how you would like to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the best choice for the position. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the interviewer.
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