How to Choose a Nursing College near Haleyville Alabama
Selecting the best nursing college near Haleyville AL may feel like a challenging undertaking, especially if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive program or the one that is nearest to your home is no doubt not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional aspects to check into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Haleyville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support 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 few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Haleyville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their past 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 usually a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, generally about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the core curriculum effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Haleyville AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration 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 required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets 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 sure that the training 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 might be additional prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Haleyville AL or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site 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 sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Haleyville AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required 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 completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Haleyville 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 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 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 verify that the school has a good reputation within the Haleyville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Ask if the schools have associations with Haleyville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more preferred way to obtain instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for many Haleyville AL students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Haleyville AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Haleyville 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.
Haleyville is a city in Winston and Marion counties in the U.S. state of Alabama. It incorporated on February 28, 1889. Most of the city is located in Winston County, with a small portion of the western limits entering Marion County. Haleyville was originally named Davis Cross Roads, having been established at the crossroads of Byler Road and the Illinois Central Railroad. At the 2010 census the population was 4,173, down slightly from 4,182 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,182 people, 1,815 households, and 1,148 families residing in the city. The population density was 563.9 people per square mile (217.6/km²). There were 2,061 housing units at an average density of 277.9 per square mile (107.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.81% White, 1.48% Black or African American, 0.17% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 2.68% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 3.11% of the population were Latino of any race.
There were 1,815 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 52 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.7% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.87.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Haleyville AL
Selecting the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the healthcare field. There are many factors that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this post, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Haleyville AL.
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