How to Choose a Nursing Program near Locust Grove Georgia
Finding the best nursing program near Locust Grove GA may seem like a formidable project, particularly if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive 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 contemplating before enrolling in your final selection. The fact is, too many future students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Choosing the least expensive college or the one that is closest to your home is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional factors to check out before you determine where to attend classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first look at what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely Locust Grove GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of 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 normally 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.
There is more than one degree option offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must attend an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Locust Grove GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare centers including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is normally 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 want 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 typically a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has obtained 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 make sure to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are principally two scholastic credentials offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, usually about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, 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 attests that the syllabus effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at Locust Grove GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program 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 mandated to have 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 amount of training mandated and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but likewise 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 sure that the training course is state certified. As well as 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.
Questions to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to enroll in, and if to attend your classes on campus near Locust Grove GA or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you probably are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we previously discussed, the location of the school and the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection measures up to the other programs.
- 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered in Locust Grove GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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 specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Locust Grove 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 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 unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Locust Grove GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Locust Grove GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Some schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this alternative may be a more practical approach to finding the free time to attend classes for some Locust Grove GA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and household commitments have left you with limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Locust Grove GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Locust Grove 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.
Locust Grove, Georgia
Locust Grove is a city in Henry County, Georgia, United States. The population was 5,402 at the 2010 census, up from 2,322 in 2000. Some unincorporated communities such as Luella and many rural areas surround Locust Grove, and those communities have Locust Grove postal addresses.
The city of Locust Grove derived its name from a grove of locust trees that could be seen throughout the town. Locust Grove was a major rail distribution center for cotton, peaches and other farm products. The city had three cotton gins and several warehouses. In 1870, the first store was built on Main Street. Since that time many new businesses have moved to Locust Grove.
In 1893, the town was incorporated and the papers were officially signed on December 20, 1893. The original city limit extended one mile north and south from the train depot in the heart of town and a half-mile east and west of the railroad. The city government consisted of a mayor and five council members. The first to fill these positions were appointed until elections could take place. The first mayor was M.P. Sowell. Those appointed to the first city council were G.P. Combs, C.M. Mahone, J.L. Garnder, R.C. Brown and W.H. Peek. The first city clerk was C. W. Williams.
Select the Right Nursing School near Locust Grove GA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to launching a new career in the health care field. There are numerous aspects that you should take into account when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is important that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare 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 final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Locust Grove GA.
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