How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Elberta Alabama
Finding the right nursing school near Elberta AL may seem like a difficult undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several essential additional aspects to look into before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role 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 largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Elberta AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees 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 acquire a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Elberta AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and later obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is normally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 normally a 2 year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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 can vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are generally two academic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, typically about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The other choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Elberta AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s necessary to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education 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 may be other requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Elberta AL or on the internet, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama 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 earlier discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are most likely going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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. In addition to helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Elberta AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, 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 prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Elberta 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 schools 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 Elberta AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have associations with Elberta AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend school for some Elberta AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations such as 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 pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Elberta AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Elberta 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.
Elberta is a town in Baldwin County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 1,498, up from 552 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Daphne–Fairhope–Foley Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Elberta is located in southern Baldwin County at 30°24'49.104" North, 87°35'57.667" West (30.413640, -87.599352).U.S. Route 98 (State Avenue) passes through the center of the town, leading west 5 miles (8 km) to Foley and east 10 miles (16 km) to Lillian, at the Florida border.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,498 people, 653 households, and 416 families residing in the town. The population density was 222 people per square mile (85.6/km2). There were 982 housing units at an average density of 142.3 per square mile (55.1/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 92.9% White, 1.4% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.1% Pacific Islander, .8% Asian, 2.5% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races. 5.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Enroll in the Right Nursing Program near Elberta AL
Selecting the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to starting a new career in the health care 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 current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this post, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Elberta AL.
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