How to Find the Right Nursing College near Killen Alabama
Choosing the best nursing school near Killen AL may feel like a complex undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your final choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Killen AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more advanced job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Killen AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 want to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a 2 year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) to become licensed. Additional 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.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides 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 core curriculum properly 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 earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Killen 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. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to receive 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 minimum period of instruction directed and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only fulfills 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 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 may be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Killen AL or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, 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 choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two points that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Killen AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different 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. Some 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 delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Killen 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 dissatisfied 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 favorable reputation within the Killen AL medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Killen AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for many Killen AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Killen AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Killen 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.
Killen is a town in Lauderdale County, Alabama, United States. It is part of the Florence - Muscle Shoals Metropolitan Statistical Area known as "The Shoals". It was incorporated in 1957. As of the 2010 census, the population of the town is 1,108, down from its record high of 1,119 in 2000.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,119 people, 435 households, and 338 families residing in the town. The population density was 585.0 people per square mile (226.2/km²). There were 484 housing units at an average density of 253.0 per square mile (97.8/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 95.26% White, 2.23% Black or African American, 0.45% Asian, 1.61% from other races, and 0.45% from two or more races. 2.59% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
Of the 435 households, 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.9% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.1% were non-families. 18.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57, and the average family size was 2.94.
Enroll in the Right Nursing College near Killen AL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various aspects that you should take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your current career goals, obligations, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Killen AL.
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