How to Enroll In a Nursing Program near Thomasville Georgia
Finding the best nursing school near Thomasville GA may seem like a complex endeavor, especially if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you study and measure the qualifications of each school you are thinking about before enrolling in your final selection. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their selection exclusively on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Going with the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your residence is undoubtedly not the best way to choose a nursing program. There are various key additional things to investigate before you decide where to attend classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first discuss what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree choices that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the medical care delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical environments, namely Thomasville GA hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general duty is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating 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 commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat common illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are multiple degrees available 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 2 years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available in the Thomasville GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a two year program offered by community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately earn a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more comprehensive training than the ADN. It is usually a 4 year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may 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 usually a 2 year program after obtaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest time period, usually about 12 months, is the certificate or diploma program. The next choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma option and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, besides supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they furnish more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you pursue, it should 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 core curriculum adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to attain a college degree. CNA instruction can be acquired at Thomasville GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, leading to either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are mandated to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training mandated and each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for your state to make certain that the training is state certified. Along with the training, each state mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there may be additional requirements as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Colleges
Once you have determined which nursing program to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Thomasville GA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to begin narrowing down your options. As you probably realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to lower the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier mentioned, the location of the school as well as the expense of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will look at. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the other programs.
- 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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Thomasville 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 required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) together with graduation from an accredited school. Certain 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 enrolled in not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some Thomasville GA healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their opinions 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 finish their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were unhappy 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 superb reputation within the Thomasville GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to assist students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing too. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Thomasville GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Nursing Online Programs
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and earn a nursing degree. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online, this option may be a more practical answer to finding the time to attend school for many Thomasville GA students. Concerning tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus alternatives. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can 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. And so if your work and household responsibilities have left you with very little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing program will make it easier to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Thomasville GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Thomasville 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.
The city deems itself the City of Roses and holds an annual Rose Festival. The city features plantations open to the public, a historic downtown, a large farmer's market, and a 308-year-old oak tree at the corner of Monroe and Crawford streets. The population was 19,340 at the 2013 United States Census.
In 2016, Thomasville was featured as the second best historic small town on USA Today's 10 Best List Reader's Choice after Bisbee (Arizona) but ahead of Abingdon (Virginia), Mackinac Island (Michigan), and Astoria (Oregon).
Thomasville was founded in 1825 as seat of the newly formed Thomas County. It was incorporated as a town in 1831 and as a city in 1889. The community was named for Jett Thomas, a general in the War of 1812.
Pick the Right Nursing Program near Thomasville GA
Enrolling in the right registered nursing college is potentially the most crucial phase to starting a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you must consider when picking a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, lifestyle, and economic status. As we have stressed within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have outstanding reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed RN in Thomasville GA.
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