How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Geneva Alabama
Selecting the best nursing program near Geneva AL may seem like a complicated project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and evaluate the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many future students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional aspects to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, such as Geneva AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
Nursing Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as two 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 offered in the Geneva AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has earned 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 don’t forget to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be received at Geneva AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must 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 important to make certain that the training 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state approved. 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 Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Geneva AL or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already discussed, the location of the school as well as the price of tuition are undoubtedly 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 decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other programs.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping ensure that you get a quality education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Geneva AL for non-accredited schools.
- 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) together with 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 important that the school you are attending not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some 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 considering 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Geneva AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Geneva AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to obtain training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a specific amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. 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 many Geneva AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Geneva AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Geneva 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.
Geneva is a city in and the county seat of Geneva County, Alabama, United States. It was incorporated in 1875. It is part of the Dothan, Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. Since 1940, it has been the largest city of Geneva County, and had a population of 4,452 as of the 2010 census.
In late December 1862, the stern-wheel steamship Bloomer was in port on the Choctawhatchee River in Geneva. She was captured by a group of Union troops from the 91st New York Volunteers led by Lieutenant James H. Stewart. The Bloomer was then taken to Pensacola, Florida.
Geneva is located south of the center of Geneva County at 31°2′17″N 85°52′36″W / 31.03806°N 85.87667°W / 31.03806; -85.87667 (31.038181, -85.876677), at the confluence of the Pea River with the Choctawhatchee River. Alabama State Route 52 passes through the city north of downtown, leading northeast 11 miles (18 km) to Hartford and northwest 12 miles (19 km) to Samson. Dothan is 34 miles (55 km) to the northeast via Route 52. Alabama State Route 27 passes through the center of Geneva, leading north 22 miles (35 km) to Enterprise and southwest 5 miles (8 km) to the Florida border.
Choose the Right Nursing School near Geneva AL
Picking the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most important step to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are numerous factors that you should think about when selecting a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have emphasized within this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Geneva AL.
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