How to Find the Right Nursing School near Dixons Mills Alabama
Selecting the right nursing school near Dixons Mills AL may feel like a complicated endeavor, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many important additional considerations to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including Dixons Mills AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to aid 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. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dixons Mills AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally a 4 year program offered at 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 desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is typically a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate 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. Other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Dixons Mills AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s essential to make sure that the program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Dixons Mills AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we previously mentioned, the site of the school and the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the field.
- 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 ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Dixons Mills AL for non-accredited schools.
- 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) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares 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 evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Dixons Mills 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Dixons Mills AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have associations with Dixons Mills AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Programs
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical approach to finding the time to attend school for some Dixons Mills AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of 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 commitments 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.
Attending a Nursing School near Dixons Mills AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dixons Mills Alabama area. If that is the case, then the following information may prove to be both educational and useful regarding the location of your future Alma Mater.
The Mason–Dixon line, also called the Mason and Dixon line or Mason's and Dixon's line, was surveyed between 1763 and 1767 by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon in the resolution of a border dispute involving Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware in Colonial America. It is still a demarcation line among four U.S. states, forming part of the borders of Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia (originally part of Virginia before 1863). Later it became known as the border between the Northern United States and the Southern United States. Before the Missouri Compromise, the line (west of Delaware) marked the northern limit of slavery in the United States.
Maryland's charter of 1632 granted the Calverts land north of the entire length of the Potomac River up to the 40th parallel. A problem arose when Charles II granted a charter for Pennsylvania in 1681. The grant defined Pennsylvania's southern border as identical to Maryland's northern border, but described it differently, as Charles relied on an inaccurate map. The terms of the grant clearly indicate that Charles II and William Penn believed the 40th parallel would intersect the Twelve-Mile Circle around New Castle, Delaware, when in fact it falls north of the original boundaries of the City of Philadelphia, the site of which Penn had already selected for his colony's capital city. Negotiations ensued after the problem was discovered in 1681. A compromise proposed by Charles II in 1682, which might have resolved the issue, was undermined by Penn receiving the additional grant of the "Three Lower Counties" along Delaware Bay, which later became the Delaware Colony, a satellite of Pennsylvania. Maryland considered these lands part of its original grant.
The conflict became more of an issue when settlement extended into the interior of the colonies. In 1732 the proprietary governor of Maryland, Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore, signed a provisional agreement with William Penn's sons, which drew a line somewhere in between and renounced the Calvert claim to Delaware. But later, Lord Baltimore claimed that the document he had signed did not contain the terms he had agreed to, and refused to put the agreement into effect. Beginning in the mid-1730s, violence erupted between settlers claiming various loyalties to Maryland and Pennsylvania. The border conflict would be known as Cresap's War.
Select the Right Nursing College near Dixons Mills AL
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is probably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Dixons Mills AL.
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