How to Select a Nursing School near Thomaston Georgia
Locating the best nursing program near Thomaston GA may feel like a formidable endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the most reliable way to decide on a nursing program. There are various important additional considerations to check into before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our healthcare system, along with the nursing degree choices that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, such as Thomaston GA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic role is to aid doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A few of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing 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 responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and often 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.
Nursing Degree Options
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 acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief descriptions of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Thomaston GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by community colleges. It prepares graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and later earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more comprehensive 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 past 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 employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is commonly a two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so don’t forget to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two academic accreditations offered that provide instruction to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, normally about one year, is the certificate or diploma course. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma option and usually require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides providing a higher credential and more in-depth training, are that they provide 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 any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees that the course of study properly prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Thomaston GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, leading to 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. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of training directed and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s essential to make certain 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 contact the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training 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 might be other prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Programs
Now that you have determined which nursing program to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Thomaston GA or on the internet, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is important to decrease the number of schools to select from to ensure that you will have a workable list. As we already discussed, the site of the school along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 as well as the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping make sure that you receive an excellent education, it may help in securing financial aid or student loans, which are often not available in Thomaston GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites 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. Some states require a specified number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the school you are attending not only provides an exceptional education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be working.
- Reputation. Check online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. In addition, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some Thomaston 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Thomaston GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students attain employment.
- Internship Programs. The most effective 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. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with Thomaston GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placing of students in internships.
Online Nursing Schools
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a specific amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more accommodating solution to finding the time to attend school for many Thomaston GA students. Pertaining to tuition, a number of online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, 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. So if your work and household commitments have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Thomaston GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Thomaston 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.
Thomaston is a city in and the county seat of Upson County,Georgia, United States. The population was 9,638 at the 2006 census. It is the principal city of and is included in the Thomaston, Georgia Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Atlanta - Sandy Springs (GA) - Gainesville (GA) - Alabama (partial) Combined Statistical Area.
Thomaston was incorporated on January 1, 1825, and designated as the seat of Upson County. The town was named for General Jett Thomas, an Indian fighter in the War of 1812. Jett is also credited with assisting in the construction of the state capitol at Milledgeville in 1805-7 and Franklin College on the campus of the University of Georgia in 1806.
The judges of the inferior court had the authority to sell lots to individuals on a one-third cash basis with two years to complete the payment. This money was used to build the first courthouse, which was completed in 1828. The second courthouse was completed in 1852, and the present courthouse was erected in 1908. In the southeast corner of the square is a cannonball mounted on a marble base, said to be the first fired at Fort Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. P. W. Alexander, a noted correspondent during the Civil War (1861–65) and a citizen of Upson County, retrieved it.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Thomaston GA
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most crucial phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are numerous aspects that you need to consider when picking a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have stressed in this content, it is essential that you select an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your hard work and desire to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Thomaston GA.
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