How to Choose a Nursing Program near Cobb Georgia
Choosing the best nursing program near Cobb GA may seem like a formidable project, especially if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and assess the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Selecting the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is no doubt not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to explore before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first cover what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along 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 many different medical settings, namely Cobb GA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to assist 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 portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising 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 generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic 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 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 Cobb GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is usually a four 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 might 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 usually a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example 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) in order to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LPN and LVN Training
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Cobb GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make sure that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make sure that the training course is state approved. In addition to the training, each state requires a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be additional requirements as well.
What to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus near Cobb GA or on the internet, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to select from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school along with the expense of tuition are most likely 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 field.
- 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Cobb GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses differ from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. In addition, check with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Cobb GA 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 programs 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 dissatisfied with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Cobb GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Cobb GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a specified amount of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this method may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend college for many Cobb GA students. Concerning tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, 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. Therefore if your job and household obligations have left you with very little time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Cobb GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Cobb 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.
Cobb County, Georgia
Cobb County is a suburban county in the U.S. state of Georgia. As of 2017, the population was 755,754, making it Georgia's third most-populous county. Its county seat and largest city is Marietta.
Along with several adjoining counties, Cobb County was founded on December 3, 1832, by the Georgia General Assembly from the large Cherokee County territory—land northwest of the Chattahoochee River which the state confiscated from the Cherokee Nation and redistributed to settlers via lottery, following the passage of the federal Indian Removal Act. The county was named for Thomas Willis Cobb, a U.S. representative and senator from Georgia. It is believed that Marietta was named for his wife, Mary.
The U.S. Census Bureau ranks Cobb County as the most-educated in the state of Georgia and 12th among all counties in the US. It has ranked among the Top 100 wealthiest counties in the nation. In October 2017, Cobb was ranked as the "Least Obese County in Georgia"
Select the Right Nursing School near Cobb GA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to select from so that you can make your ultimate selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Cobb GA.
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