How to Choose a Nursing College near Rainbow City Alabama
Choosing the best nursing program near Rainbow City AL may feel like a difficult project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your home is undoubtedly not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to look into before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, such as Rainbow City AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing 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 high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically 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.
There is more than one degree option 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Rainbow City AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The other option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests 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.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Rainbow City AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction mandated and that each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with 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 sure 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 additional prerequisites as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing program to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Rainbow City AL or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Rainbow City AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only provides a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Rainbow City 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 colleges 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Rainbow City AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have associations with Rainbow City AL hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient solution to finding the free time to attend college for some Rainbow City AL students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, 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. And so if your work and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Rainbow City AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Rainbow City 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.
Rainbow City, Alabama
This city was named after U.S. Highway 411, called Rainbow Drive, which runs through the middle of the city. Some of the older citizens say it was named after the US 42nd Infantry Division, known as the "Rainbow Division".
As early as 1818, families from the Carolinas and Georgia began to migrate to the area and homestead land near the Coosa River. Hernando de Soto's troops were the first visitors to the area in 1540, and today a bridge stands where the Pensacola Trading Path crossed the Coosa River. A paved highway now traces the trail that was cut from Nashville to Horseshoe Bend by Andrew Jackson on his way to fight the Creek Native Americans in what is now known as the Battle of Horseshoe Bend.
Originally called "Coosa Bend", the area was later called "Morgan's Cross Road". It was located at the intersection of the Gadsden-Ashville Road and Gilbert's Ferry Road. The land was passed from Edmond Jones to his son Clayton, who never married. When he died, the land passed to his sister, Luvica Morgan, who was also the wife of William Morgan.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Rainbow City AL
Deciding on the right registered nursing degree program is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed in this post, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create 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 dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Rainbow City AL.
More Awesome Locations in Alabama