How to Select a Nursing Program near Carrollton Georgia
Finding the best nursing college near Carrollton GA may seem like a complicated undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and assess the qualifications of each program you are contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their determination solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is probably not the most reliable way to pick a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to check out before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, together with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Carrollton GA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to support doctors in the care of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Carrollton GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive 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 prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may want 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 usually a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After a graduating student has earned 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. Additional requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are generally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time frame, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the type of credential you pursue, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the core curriculum properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Carrollton GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum period of instruction directed and each 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 additionally those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation 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 Schools
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and whether to attend your classes on campus near Carrollton GA or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously discussed, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available in Carrollton GA 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are enrolled in not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Carrollton GA 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 schools 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 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 verify that the school has a favorable reputation within the Carrollton GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour requirements for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Carrollton GA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is becoming a more popular way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance 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 Carrollton GA students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Carrollton GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Carrollton Georgia 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.
Carrollton, Georgia is a city in the north west region of Georgia, about 45 miles west of Atlanta near the Alabama state line. It is the county seat of Carroll County which is included in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. Historically, Carrollton has been a commercial center for several mostly rural counties in both Georgia and Alabama. It is the home of the University of West Georgia and West Georgia Technical College. The 2016 United States Census estimates placed the city's population at 26,562.
Carrollton is located near the center of Carroll County at 33°34′51″N 85°4′36″W / 33.58083°N 85.07667°W / 33.58083; -85.07667 (33.580912, -85.076704). The Little Tallapoosa River flows through the northwestern part of the city. U.S. Route 27 passes through the city center, leading north 9 miles (14 km) to Interstate 20 in Bremen and south 42 miles (68 km) to LaGrange.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Carrollton has a total area of 22.8 square miles (59.1 km2), of which 22.3 square miles (57.7 km2) is land and 0.54 square miles (1.4 km2), or 2.37%, is water.
Pick the Right Nursing Degree near Carrollton GA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is perhaps the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the healthcare industry. There are numerous aspects that you should think about when deciding on a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have pointed out within this content, it is critical that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Carrollton GA.
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