How to Enroll In a Nursing School in Prattville Alabama
Choosing the right nursing program in Prattville AL may seem like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Having said that, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are several key additional things to check into before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Prattville AL. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses in Prattville AL with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 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 offered in Prattville AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Prattville AL medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Prattville 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 may wish 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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. Further requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Prattville AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, normally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering 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 needs to be Prattville AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be obtained at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 minimal amount of instruction mandated and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for Prattville AL to make sure that the training course is state certified. 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 prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local Prattville AL healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend college for many students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Prattville AL and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to select from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final 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 in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting organization. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools in Prattville AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers 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 companies to see what the evaluations 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 determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Prattville 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Prattville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Prattville AL clinical environment. Virtually 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. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Program in Prattville AL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of aspects that you must consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Prattville AL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to consider questions you might be asked. One of the things that interviewers frequently ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to select nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to learn is not just the personal reasons you might have for being a nurse, but also what qualities and skills you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, as well as a certain number of typical interview questions, so you must ready a number of strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Because there are numerous factors that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the position. Don't attempt to memorize a response, but write down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own experiences and strengths. Going over sample responses can help you to develop your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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