How to Select a Nursing College near Sparta Georgia
Searching for the best nursing college near Sparta GA may feel like a difficult undertaking, particularly if you aren’t sure what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and assess the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Unfortunately, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Choosing the least expensive program or the one that is closest to your home is most likely not the best way to decide on a nursing program. There are many crucial additional things to check out before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, together with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, including Sparta GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic function is to support doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Keeping health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
There are multiple degrees offered to become a registered nurse. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short descriptions of the nursing degrees that are available in the Sparta GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps 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 afterwards attain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more in depth 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 might 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 typically a 2 year program after receiving the BSN. The MSN program provides specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has acquired 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. Additional requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Programs
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be completed in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and normally require 2 years to complete. The benefit of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive instruction, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it should be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC attests that the course of study 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 other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to obtain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Sparta GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to obtain at least 75 hours of instruction, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction mandated and that each state has its own prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make sure that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also 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 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 may be other requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Once you have selected which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Sparta GA or online, you can use the following checklist to start narrowing down your options. As you probably are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is important to reduce the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier discussed, the location of the school along with the price of tuition are most likely going to be the primary two points that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So prior to making your final decision, use the following questions to see how your pick compares to the field.
- 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. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided in Sparta GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses are different from state to state. In all states, a passing score is needed on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) as well as graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s important that the school you are attending not only delivers an exceptional education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the assessments are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews too. Also, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Sparta 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 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 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 Sparta 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 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 mandates for licensing as well. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Sparta GA hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Online Nursing Classes
Attending nursing schools online is becoming a more favored way to get training and acquire a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for a component of the training, and virtually all programs require a specific number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more convenient solution to finding the time to attend school for some Sparta GA students. Regarding tuition, a number of online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your job and family commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Sparta GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Sparta 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.
Sparta is a city in Hancock County, Georgia, United States. The population was 1,400 at the 2010 census. The city is the county seat of Hancock County. It is part of the Milledgeville Micropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the 2010 census estimate, there were 1,522 people, 617 households and 385 families residing in the city. The population density was 835.4 per square mile (322.9/km²). There were 725 housing units at an average density of 397.9 per square mile (153.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 4.5% White, 95.70% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.33% Asian, and 0.46% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.70% of the population.
There were 617 households of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 25.4% were married couples living together, 31.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.6% were non-families. 35.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 17.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.20.
Select the Right Nursing Program near Sparta GA
Choosing the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most important step to starting a new career in the healthcare industry. There are various variables that you need to take into account when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out in this content, it is essential that you select an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to select from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Sparta GA.
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