How to Enroll In a Nursing College near Reform Alabama
Searching for the right nursing school near Reform AL may feel like a complicated project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is nearest to your house is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are several important additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Reform AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise as well as where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting 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 more advanced degree may have more advanced 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 routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Reform 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 job in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 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 may 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 concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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. 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.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and commonly require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with supplying a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 warrants that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Reform AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and that every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state certified. As well as the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Reform AL or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick measures up to the field.
- 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 agency. Besides helping confirm that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Reform AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain 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 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. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Reform 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 complete 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 confirm that the school has a good reputation within the Reform AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Find out if the schools have associations with Reform AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more favored way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the free time to attend school for some Reform AL students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, 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. So if your job and household obligations have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Reform AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Reform 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.
Sparsely settled after statehood, Reform first received a post office in 1841. It wasn't incorporated until March 2, 1898, following the community getting train service via the Mobile and Ohio Railroad. According to tradition, the community was named from an incident when an evangelist paid the new settlement a visit, imploring the first settlers to "reform".
In May 1968, a mule train, part of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference sponsored Poor People's Campaign, stopped for two days in Reform before heading to Tuscaloosa, Alabama on its way to Washington, DC.
On August 31, 2017, the area was hit by an EF2 tornado. The tornado touched down near Reform and tracked through Pickens, Lamar, and Fayette counties. Significant damage was also caused in the nearby community of Palmetto. http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/09/national_weather_service_to_su.html
Choose the Right Nursing Degree near Reform AL
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing college is potentially the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this post, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Reform AL.
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