How to Pick a Nursing Program near Pendergrass Georgia
Searching for the best nursing school near Pendergrass GA may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your final selection. Unfortunately, too many potential students base their selection exclusively on the price of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your house is undoubtedly not the best way to select a nursing program. There are several important additional factors to investigate before you make a decision where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first look at what the role of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, together with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the primary occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, including Pendergrass GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general job 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 area of expertise along with where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and often work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees available 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 as little as 2 years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Pendergrass GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies 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 later attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might desire 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 normally 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.
When a graduating student has obtained one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to check with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
LVN and LPN Courses
There are basically two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest period of time, commonly about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The next option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, besides providing 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 seek, it needs to be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the syllabus adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at Pendergrass GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training can take anywhere from just one to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s important to make sure that the course you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but likewise 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 certain 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 Programs
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to pursue, as well as whether to attend your classes on campus near Pendergrass GA or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is important to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school along with the cost of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two points that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final decision, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. In addition to helping verify that you get a quality education, it may assist in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are often not provided in Pendergrass GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews as well. Also, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Pendergrass 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 schools 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 substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Pendergrass GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Almost all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Pendergrass GA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is emerging as a more popular way to get training and earn a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare facility. But since the remainder of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the free time to attend school for some Pendergrass GA students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And many 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 responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Pendergrass GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Pendergrass 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.
Pendergrass is located in northwestern Jackson County at 34°9′51″N 83°40′52″W / 34.16417°N 83.68111°W / 34.16417; -83.68111 (34.164223, -83.681047). It is bordered to the southeast by Jefferson, the county seat, and to the northwest by Talmo. U.S. Route 129 passes through the northeast side of the city, leading northwest 14 miles (23 km) to Gainesville and southeast through Jefferson 24 miles (39 km) to Athens.
According to the United States Census Bureau, Pendergrass has a total area of 3.1 square miles (7.9 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 1.48%, are water. The city is part of the Middle Oconee River watershed.
As of the census of 2000, there were 431 people, 156 households, and 117 families residing in the city. The population density was 212.8 people per square mile (82.4/km²). There were 171 housing units at an average density of 84.4 per square mile (32.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 98.14% White, 0.93% Native American, 0.46% from other races, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.18% of the population.
Pick the Right Nursing College near Pendergrass GA
Selecting the ideal registered nursing degree program is probably the most crucial first step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have highlighted in this content, it is essential that you choose an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the health care community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Pendergrass GA.
More Awesome Locations in Georgia