How to Find the Right Nursing Program in Lincoln Alabama
Selecting the best nursing college in Lincoln AL may seem like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Having said that, too many potential students base their determination exclusively on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Deciding on the least costly college or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are several essential additional things to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Lincoln AL. RNs practice in many different medical settings, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Lincoln 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 often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Lincoln AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Lincoln AL healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more in depth training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Lincoln AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has earned 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so make sure to contact the Lincoln AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to attain 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 supplying a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Lincoln AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of training required and each state has its specific requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Lincoln AL to make sure that the training course is state certified. As well as the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more in demand way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Lincoln AL healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges within Lincoln AL and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the location of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate decision, 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Aside from helping confirm that you get an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided for non-accredited schools in Lincoln AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some regional Lincoln 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 schools you are considering what their graduation rates are as well as how long on average it takes students to finish 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 Lincoln AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Lincoln AL clinical setting. Almost all Alabama nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Course in Lincoln AL
Choosing the right registered nursing school is potentially the most important phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Lincoln AL.
Why Did You Desire to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's advantageous to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but also what qualities and talents you possess that make you good at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of typical interview questions, so you should ready some approaches about how you want to respond to them. Since there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a number of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the talents you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to enthuse the interviewer.
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