How to Pick a Nursing College near Rainsville Alabama
Locating the right nursing school near Rainsville AL may feel like a complex project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to select a nursing program. There are a number of important additional considerations to look into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree alternatives 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, such as Rainsville AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Rainsville AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 commonly a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has received one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be completed in the shortest amount of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to supplying a higher credential and more extensive 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 syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA education can be received at Rainsville AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training mandated and each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Now that you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Rainsville AL or online, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, 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 so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting agency. Besides helping ensure that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Rainsville 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to comply with 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 considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Rainsville AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgments are of the schools as well.
- Graduation and Job Placement Rates. Find out from the RN colleges 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 displeased 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 Rainsville AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Rainsville AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing schools online is growing into a more popular way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Rainsville AL students. Regarding 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 can be minimized, helping to make education more economical. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Rainsville AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Rainsville 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.
Rainsville is a city in DeKalb County, Alabama, United States. At the 2010 census the population was 4,948, up from 4,499 in 2000. Rainsville is located on top of Sand Mountain, a southern extension of the Cumberland Plateau.
An EF5 tornado struck the city on April 27, 2011, leaving 25 fatalities. It initially touched down 10 miles (16 km) to the southwest in Lakeview, causing structural damage to small buildings and snapping trees. It grew in intensity, and the path width increased from around fifty yards to a half a mile, as the rotation entered the Rainsville and Sylvania communities. Damage included houses that were completely removed from foundations and debris scattered for about one mile, trees debarked, and a few mobile homes were destroyed with debris strewn for about a mile downstream. In Sylvania, some of these houses removed from foundations contained anchor bolts and foundation straps.
Rainsville is located northwest of the center of DeKalb County at 34°29′32″N 85°50′43″W / 34.49222°N 85.84528°W / 34.49222; -85.84528 (34.492258, -85.845316). It is bordered to the northeast by Sylvania, to the northwest by Powell, to the southwest by Shiloh, and to the southeast by Pine Ridge.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Rainsville AL
Deciding on the right registered nursing school is arguably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have emphasized 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 using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Rainsville AL.
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