How to Find the Right Nursing College near Dacula Georgia
Choosing the right nursing school near Dacula GA may feel like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of essential additional aspects to check into before you make a decision where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including Dacula GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly 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 to choose from to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Dacula GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually 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 employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire to advance to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has attained 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. Other requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are generally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, typically about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, 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 attests that the core curriculum effectively 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 attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be obtained at Dacula GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length 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 mandated 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 own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training course 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 Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Dacula GA or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school as well as the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see 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 make sure that you get an excellent education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Dacula GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses vary 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. 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 Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Also, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Dacula 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 colleges you are considering 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 essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only confirm that the school has a superb reputation within the Dacula GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire 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 associations with Dacula GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive instruction and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs call for a specified number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical solution to finding the time to attend school for many Dacula GA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Dacula GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Dacula 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.
Dacula (dah-cuo-luh) is a city in Gwinnett County, Georgia, United States. The population as of the 2010 census was 4,442, and the U.S. Census Bureau estimated the population to be 5,330 as of 2015.
The vicinity of Dacula was one of the first areas in present-day metropolitan Atlanta to be settled by whites (around the time of the War of 1812), but the area remained mostly undeveloped until the late 20th century. The Dacula area is home to some of the oldest buildings in greater Atlanta, such as the Elisha Winn House, which originally acted as the courthouse for Gwinnett County. Dacula itself began in the late 1800s near the community of Chinquapin Grove, where Dacula Elementary now stands. The town was originally named "Hoke", after a Seaboard Air Line Railroad executive, but that name was changed due to the Post Office Department's protest.. Dacula's name was formed from letters in Decatur and Atlanta, two cities to the west that were already prospering at the time of Dacula's founding. The city was once home to a train station on a CSX line through northeast Georgia, although the station closed in the mid-1950s.
Dacula is located in eastern Gwinnett County, with U.S. Route 29 Business/Georgia State Route 8 (Winder Highway) the main road through the center of town. Business 29/SR 8 leads west 6 miles (10 km) to Lawrenceville, the county seat, and east 11 miles (18 km) to Winder. U.S. Route 29 (University Parkway) is a four-lane highway that bypasses Dacula to the south, with access from Harbins Road. University Parkway leads east 34 miles (55 km) to Athens and west 12 miles (19 km) to Interstate 85, which leads an additional 25 miles (40 km) southwest to downtown Atlanta.
Enroll in the Right Nursing School near Dacula GA
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is probably the most critical phase to launching a new career in the healthcare industry. There are a number of factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this article, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Dacula GA.
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