How to Find the Right Nursing College near Kennesaw Georgia
Searching for the right nursing college near Kennesaw GA may feel like a challenging undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is nearest to your house is probably not the most ideal way to select a nursing program. There are various key additional considerations to look into before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first review what the job of a registered nurse is in our health system, as well as the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely Kennesaw GA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and generally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can receive a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some short summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Kennesaw GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently achieve a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their prior training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 achieving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Training
There are essentially two academic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that may be finished in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second alternative is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides offering a higher credential and more comprehensive 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 another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the syllabus 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 some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA education can be acquired at Kennesaw GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and each state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the 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 get in touch with 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 can be other requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Kennesaw GA or on the web, you can utilize the following checklist to start narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is essential to reduce the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the location of the school and the price of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the initial two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the other schools.
- Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program in addition to the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping make sure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are often not offered in Kennesaw GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing criteria for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also readies you to comply with the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Kennesaw 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 programs 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 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 Kennesaw GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with Kennesaw GA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for some Kennesaw GA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be lessened, helping to make education more 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. So if your job and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Kennesaw GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Kennesaw 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.
Kennesaw is a city in Cobb County, Georgia, United States, located in the greater Atlanta metropolitan area. It had a population of 29,783 according to the 2010 census. Founded in 1887, Kennesaw has a past surrounded with railroad history. During the Civil War, Kennesaw was the staging ground for the Great Locomotive Chase on April 12, 1862. The city is perhaps best known nationally for its mandatory gun-possession ordinance.
As the Western and Atlantic Railroad were being built in the late 1830s, shanties arose to house the workers. These were near a big spring. A grade up from the Etowah River became known as "the big grade to the shanties", then "Big Shanty Grade", and finally "Big Shanty".
During the Civil War, Big Shanty was the site of major fighting in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain, part of the larger Atlanta Campaign. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, located southeast of the city limits, now contains many of these historic areas, though much of the surrounding land has been developed, and some buried artifacts have been taken by people with metal detectors.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Kennesaw GA
Picking the ideal registered nursing program is probably the most crucial phase to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are various variables that you need to take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and economic situation. As we have stressed within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing our checklist 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Kennesaw GA.
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