How to Choose a Nursing School in York Alabama
Finding the best nursing program in York AL may feel like a challenging endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the nursing school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in York AL. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses in York AL with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in York AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in York AL healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at York 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 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 usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the York AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are generally two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be York 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 effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain 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 each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies 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 York AL to make sure that the training 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 may be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more popular way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local York AL healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend college for some 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 many 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, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within York AL and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered for non-accredited schools in York AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to 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 attending not only provides an excellent education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby York 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 colleges 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 confirm that the school has a favorable reputation within the York AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a York AL clinical setting. Essentially all Alabama nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Enroll in the Right RN Course in York AL
Choosing the right registered nursing school is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous factors that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic situation. As we have emphasized in this article, it is important that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in York AL.
Why Did You Want to Become a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you may be asked. One of the things that recruiters typically ask nursing candidates is "What made you select nursing as a profession?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and abilities you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of general interview questions, so you must organize some approaches about how you want to address them. Considering there are several factors that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, aim to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize a response, but write down some ideas and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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