How to Select a Nursing College in Geneva Alabama
Searching for the best nursing program in Geneva AL may feel like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know 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 necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Having said that, too many future students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the nursing school. Choosing the least costly college or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of important additional factors to investigate before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical care delivery system in Geneva AL. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses in Geneva 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 typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option 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 obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in Geneva AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Geneva AL healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at Geneva 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 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 generally a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has acquired 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so be sure to contact the Geneva AL board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Geneva AL approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 need to earn 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 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that every state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Geneva AL to make certain that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other prerequisites as well.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more in demand way to obtain training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Geneva AL healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical solution to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family commitments have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Geneva AL and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from so that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in Geneva AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed 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 attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Geneva 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 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Geneva AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Geneva AL clinical environment. Almost 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 as well. Check if the schools have associations with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course in Geneva AL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical phase to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is important that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Geneva AL.
Why Did You Desire to Be a Registered Nurse?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's important to review questions you might be asked. One of the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing prospects is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what characteristics and abilities you possess that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating exclusively to nursing, along with a certain number of general interview questions, so you must ready some ideas about how you want to answer them. Considering there are so many variables that go into choosing a career, you can answer this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you along with the abilities you possess that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down several ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reading through sample answers can assist you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the recruiter.
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