How to Pick a Nursing Program near Tifton Georgia
Finding the best nursing school near Tifton GA may feel like a complex project, especially if you aren’t sure what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and determine the qualifications of each college you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their decision entirely on the cost of tuition and the distance of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your residence is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional things to check out before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we explore that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the most extensive occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, such as Tifton GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to support doctors in the treatment of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or area of expertise along with where they work. A portion of the functions of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Managing health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), as an example, must hold a Master’s Degree and commonly work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options offered to become a registered nurse. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can earn a qualifying degree in as little as two years, or continue on to obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered in the Tifton GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a two year program made available by community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many use the ADN as an entry into nursing and subsequently obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) provides more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a four year program offered at colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be qualified to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may wish 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 normally 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 earned one of the above degrees, he or she must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) so as to become licensed. Other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state mandates.
There are principally two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The second choice is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with providing a higher credential and more in-depth instruction, are that they provide 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 warrants 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be received at Tifton GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The length of the training can take anywhere from one to three months, resulting in 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of training required and every state has its own prerequisites. So it’s important to make sure that the program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but additionally 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 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 prerequisites as well.
Things to Ask Nursing Schools
Once you have decided on which nursing degree to enroll in, as well as if to attend your classes on campus near Tifton GA or online, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Georgia and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a manageable list. As we already mentioned, the site of the school as well as the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your final selection, use the following questions to evaluate 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 recognized accrediting agency. Aside from helping ensure that you receive a quality education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided in Tifton GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing prerequisites for registered nurses differ 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 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 delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Visit online rating companies to see what the reviews are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews as well. Additionally, contact the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Tifton 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 complete their programs. A low graduation rate may be an indication that students were displeased 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 Tifton GA healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain a position.
- Internship Programs. The most effective way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Check if the schools have a working relationship with Tifton GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is becoming a more in demand way to get instruction and earn a nursing degree. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours performed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online, this option may be a more convenient answer to finding the free time to attend classes for many Tifton GA students. Pertaining to tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus choices. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more affordable. And a large number of online programs are accredited by organizations such as the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family obligations 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 active schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Tifton GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tifton 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 area's public schools are administered by the Tift County School District, including two high schools. Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College has its main campus in Tifton. Southern Regional Technical College and the University of Georgia also have Tifton campuses.
Sites in the area include the Coastal Plain Research Arboretum, Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, and the Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village. The Tifton Residential Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Tifton Gazette is published three days a week in Tifton.
Tifton is located in south central Georgia along Interstate 75, which runs north to south through the city, leading north 167 mi (269 km) to Atlanta and south 45 mi (72 km) to Valdosta. Other highways that pass through the city include U.S. Route 41, U.S. Route 82, U.S. Route 319, and Georgia State Route 125.
Pick the Right Nursing School near Tifton GA
Deciding on the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most important phase to beginning a new career in the health care industry. There are various variables that you need to think about when choosing a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently depending on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic situation. As we have highlighted within this article, it is critical that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By utilizing 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 appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Tifton GA.
More Awesome Locations in Georgia