How to Find the Right Nursing School in Dauphin Island Alabama
Finding the right nursing program in Dauphin Island AL may feel like a difficult undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is no doubt not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, together with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system in Dauphin Island AL. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Dauphin Island 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 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.
There are multiple degrees to choose from 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in Dauphin Island AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in Dauphin Island 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 comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Dauphin Island AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is normally 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.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) in order to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Dauphin Island AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second 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 complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more extensive training, 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 Dauphin Island AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain 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 one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain 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 minimum period of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Dauphin Island AL to make sure that the training course is state certified. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Dauphin Island AL healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with 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.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Dauphin Island AL and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously mentioned, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up 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 organization. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools in Dauphin Island 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain 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 practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Dauphin Island 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 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a good reputation within the Dauphin Island AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Dauphin Island AL clinical environment. Virtually all Alabama nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with regional hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree in Dauphin Island AL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the medical care field. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist 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 hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Dauphin Island AL.
Why Did You Want to Be a Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to review questions you might be asked. One of the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing prospects is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a registered nurse, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, along with a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should organize a number of ideas about how you would like to respond to them. Given that there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this fundamental question in a number of ways. When readying an answer, aim to include the reasons the profession appeals to you in addition to the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal candidate for the position. Don't try to memorize a response, but take down a few concepts and anecdotes that relate to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to prepare your own thoughts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
Some Cities in Alabama You May be Interested In