How to Select a Nursing Program in Montevallo Alabama
Selecting the right nursing school in Montevallo AL may feel like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Having said that, too many prospective students base their determination exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the nursing school. Deciding on the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your house is most likely not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are many essential additional factors to explore before you decide where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system in Montevallo AL. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses in Montevallo AL with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. 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 multiple degrees available 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 earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in Montevallo AL.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in Montevallo AL medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is generally a 4 year program offered at Montevallo AL colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to get in touch with the Montevallo AL board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two academic credentials available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option 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, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Montevallo 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.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under 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. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills 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 Montevallo AL to make sure that the training course is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more preferred way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local Montevallo AL healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily 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 job and family obligations have left you with very 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 hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Montevallo AL and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection measures up 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 organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools in Montevallo AL.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements 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 essential that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, 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 nearby Montevallo 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also important that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Montevallo AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a Montevallo 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 too. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Select the Right RN College in Montevallo AL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Montevallo AL.
Why Did You Decide to Be an RN?When getting ready to interview for a nursing position, it's helpful to reflect on questions you could be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to uncover is not only the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what qualities and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions relating primarily to nursing, in addition to a certain number of standard interview questions, so you should ready a number of strategies about how you want to answer them. Considering there are several variables that go into choosing a career, you can address this primary question in a variety of ways. When formulating an answer, try to include the reasons the profession appeals to you along with the abilities you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but take down a few ideas and topics that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Going over sample responses can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to discuss to enthuse the recruiter.
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