How to Choose a Nursing School near Tunnel Hill Georgia
Locating the best nursing college near Tunnel Hill GA may seem like a formidable undertaking, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must acquire the necessary education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you research and measure the qualifications of each school you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. The fact is, too many prospective students base their decision solely on the price of tuition and the distance of the school. Picking the least expensive school or the one that is closest to your house is no doubt not the most ideal way to choose a nursing program. There are several crucial additional aspects to explore before you decide 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 healthcare system, along with the nursing degree options that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in a large number of different medical settings, namely Tunnel Hill GA hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their basic duty is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. However, the particular duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization as well as where they work. A portion of the duties of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher 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 provide primary or specialty care services, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There is more than one degree option available 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 obtain a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are available in the Tunnel Hill GA area.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is typically a 2 year program made available by community colleges. It prepares 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 ultimately achieve a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth 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 previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might want 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 generally a two year program after attaining the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for example 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) so as to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing can vary from state to state, so be sure to contact the Georgia board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN. The one that can be finished in the shortest amount of time, typically about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and generally require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more extensive training, are that they provide more transferable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the kind of credential you pursue, it needs to be Georgia approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or another national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the syllabus 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 need to earn a college degree. CNA training can be obtained at Tunnel Hill GA area community colleges or at vocational or trade schools. The duration of the training program can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required 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 each state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course you enroll in not only satisfies the federal requirements, but also those for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with 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 mandates a passing score on a competency test for certification. Depending on the state, there might be additional requirements as well.
Questions to Ask Nursing Degree Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with if to attend your classes on campus near Tunnel Hill GA or on the web, you can use the following pointers to start narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within 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 previously pointed out, the site of the school and the price of tuition are probably going to be the initial two things that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your final choice, 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 acknowledged accrediting organization. Aside from helping ensure that you obtain an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available in Tunnel Hill GA for non-accredited schools.
- Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses vary from state to state. In all states, a passing score is required on the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX-RN) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Certain states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the school you are attending not only provides an excellent education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Georgia or the state where you will be practicing.
- Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Also, get in touch with the Georgia school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some Tunnel Hill 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 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a superb reputation within the Tunnel Hill GA medical community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students obtain a position.
- Internship Programs. The best way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. A number of states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with Tunnel Hill GA hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the placement of students in internships.
Nursing Online Degrees
Attending nursing colleges online is growing into a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree. Certain schools will require attending on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs call for a certain number of clinical rotation hours conducted in a local healthcare center. But since the remainder of the training can be accessed online, this method may be a more accommodating solution to finding the free time to attend school for some Tunnel Hill GA students. Regarding tuition, many online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus options. Even additional expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more economical. 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 job and household responsibilities have left you with little time to pursue your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Attending a Nursing School near Tunnel Hill GA?
Perhaps you have already made your decision to attend a Nursing Program in the greater Tunnel Hill 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.
Tunnel Hill, Georgia
Tunnel Hill is a town in northwest Whitfield County and southern Catoosa County, Georgia, United States. It is part of the Dalton Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population was 1,209 at the 2000 census. The town is named for the Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnel, a 1,497-foot (456 m) railroad tunnel built in the late 1840s.
The community was first known as Doe Run. It was incorporated on March 4, 1848, as Tunnelsville, and changed its name in 1856 to Tunnel Hill. Both names refer to a nearby 1,497-foot (456 m) railroad tunnel through Chetoogeta Mountain, officially dedicated on October 31, 1849 by Etowah steel-maker Mark A. Cooper on behalf of the state-owned Western & Atlantic Railroad.
The railroad tunnel was the first to be completed south of the Mason–Dixon line. The rail line operated during the late 1840s with passengers and freight being portaged over the mountain while the tunnel was constructed. Another tunnel next to it, completed in 1928, is still used by CSX Transportation. The original Chetoogeta Mountain Tunnel is now paved for tourists to walk through; it has even more historic value, as the Great Locomotive Chase passed through it in 1862.
Select the Right Nursing School near Tunnel Hill GA
Enrolling in the ideal registered nursing program is potentially the most critical first step to launching a new career in the healthcare field. There are a number of variables that you should consider when picking a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this content, it is critical that you select an RN college and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Tunnel Hill GA.
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