How to Choose a Nursing Program near Hartwell Georgia
Locating the right nursing program near Hartwell GA may seem like a complex undertaking, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must receive the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and determine the qualifications of each program you are thinking about before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least expensive school or the one that is local to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to decide on a nursing program. There are many key additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely Hartwell GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to assist doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Observing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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 Degree Options
There are multiple degrees 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 earn a qualifying degree in as little as 2 years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Hartwell GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use 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 generally a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible 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 progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a two year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you seek, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of 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 Hartwell GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to check with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the education is state approved. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there can be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus near Hartwell GA or on the web, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is essential 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 expense of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate decision, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other schools.
- 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. Aside from helping confirm that you obtain a quality education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Hartwell 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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, 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 readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Visit internet rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. In addition, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Hartwell GA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 displeased with the program and dropped out. It’s also imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Hartwell GA medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal 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. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have associations with Hartwell GA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Nursing Online Classes
Enrolling in nursing schools online is emerging as a more popular way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specified amount of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend school for many Hartwell GA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Hartwell GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Hartwell 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.
Hartwell is located in central Hart County at 34°21′10″N 82°55′52″W / 34.35278°N 82.93111°W / 34.35278; -82.93111 (34.352738, -82.931161). It sits 4 miles (6 km) southwest of Lake Hartwell, which acquired its name from the city. Hartwell is in the Piedmont region of Georgia, or the Upland South, and lies 30 miles (48 km) southeast of the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains at Toccoa.
U.S. Route 29 passes through the center of Hartwell, leading east 7 miles (11 km) to the South Carolina border at Hartwell Dam on the Savannah River, and southwest 12 miles (19 km) to Royston. Anderson, South Carolina, is 23 miles (37 km) to the northeast via US 29, and Athens, Georgia, is 43 miles (69 km) to the southwest. Georgia State Route 51 also passes through Hartwell, leading north 7 miles (11 km) to Reed Creek and west 9 miles (14 km) to Bowersville.
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,469 people. There were 2,266 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 61.33% White, 34.53% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.62% Asian, 0% Pacific Islander, 0.33% from other races, and 1.77% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.07% of the population.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Hartwell GA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is perhaps the most critical phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are many factors that you need to take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career goals, obligations, and financial situation. As we have stressed in this article, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our list 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 right degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Hartwell GA.
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