How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Mobile Alabama
Selecting the best nursing college near Mobile AL may seem like a formidable undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least costly college or the one that is nearest to your residence is most likely not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are various essential additional considerations to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Mobile AL hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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.
There is more than one degree option available 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 obtain a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Mobile AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently attain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might 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 generally a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, generally about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, 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 guarantees that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Mobile AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction mandated and every state has its own requirements. 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 suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course is state certified. In addition to 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Mobile AL or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt 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 workable list. As we earlier mentioned, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you get a premium education, it may assist in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Mobile AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) along 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 attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Mobile 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a good reputation within the Mobile AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Find out if the schools have associations with Mobile AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to receive instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Mobile AL students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more economical. And many 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 obligations have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Mobile AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Mobile 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.
Mobile (/moʊˈbiːl/ moh-BEEL; French pronunciation: [mɔ.bil]) is the county seat of Mobile County, Alabama, United States. The population within the city limits was 195,111 as of the 2010 United States Census, making it the third most populous city in Alabama, the most populous in Mobile County, and the largest municipality on the Gulf Coast between New Orleans, Louisiana, and St. Petersburg, Florida.
Alabama's only saltwater port, Mobile is located on the Mobile River at the head of the Mobile Bay and the north-central Gulf Coast. The Port of Mobile has always played a key role in the economic health of the city, beginning with the settlement as an important trading center between the French colonists and Native Americans, down to its current role as the 12th-largest port in the United States.
Mobile is the principal municipality of the Mobile metropolitan area. This region of 412,992 residents is composed solely of Mobile County; it is the third-largest metropolitan statistical area in the state. Mobile is the largest city in the Mobile-Daphne−Fairhope CSA, with a total population of 604,726, the second largest in the state. As of 2011[update], the population within a 60-mile (100 km) radius of Mobile is 1,262,907.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Mobile AL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is probably the most important phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are numerous aspects that you must take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Mobile AL.
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