How to Find the Right Nursing Program near Addison Alabama
Choosing the best nursing college near Addison AL may seem like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their selection solely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is no doubt not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many key additional things to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, including Addison AL hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic job is to help doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, 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 duties of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, 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 common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or advance to obtain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Addison AL area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically 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 might want 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 usually a 2 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.
When a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to check with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Certificates and Degrees
There are basically two scholastic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you seek, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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 need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be received at Addison AL area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the instruction can take anywhere from one 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 instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal period of training directed and that every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s crucial to make certain that the program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally 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 sure that the education is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be other prerequisites as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Addison AL or on the web, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school and the cost of tuition are probably going to be the primary two points that you will consider. 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 selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 recognized accrediting agency. Besides helping verify that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not offered in Addison AL for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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) as well as 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 important that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, get in touch with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Addison 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 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 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 superb reputation within the Addison 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 obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially 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. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Addison AL hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is becoming a more popular way to receive instruction and attain a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specified number of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend college for many Addison AL students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. 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 work and family responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue 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 Addison AL?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Addison 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.
As of the 2010 Census Addison had a population of 757. The population was 99.1% white, 0.1% black or African American, 0.1% Asian, 0.7% from two or more races and 0.4% Hispanic or Latino of any race.
As of the census of 2000, there were 723 people, 315 households, and 219 families residing in the town. The population density was 205.7 people per square mile (79.5/km²). There were 339 housing units at an average density of 96.5 per square mile (37.3/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 99.45% White, 0.14% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.14% Asian, and 0.14% from two or more races. 0.14% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 315 households out of which 30.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.0% were married couples living together, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.2% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.78.
Select the Right Nursing Degree near Addison AL
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing school is perhaps the most important first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of variables that you need to think about when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Addison AL.
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