How to Select a Nursing College in Fayette Alabama
Searching for the best nursing school near Fayette AL may feel like a complicated project, especially if you don’t know what to look for in a good degree program. As you may presently understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many future students base their determination entirely on the cost of tuition and the proximity of the school. Deciding on the least costly program or the one that is local to your house is most likely not the best way to select a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to explore before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the role of a registered nurse is in our health system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Fayette AL medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general function is to help doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the exact duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or area of expertise in addition to where they work. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Managing care
- Overseeing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Taking care of health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more high level job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Fayette AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Fayette AL. 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 two years, or advance to attain a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is normally a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level job in nursing in healthcare facilities such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more extensive training than the ADN. It is commonly a four year program offered at Alabama 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 might desire 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 two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Fayette AL or concentrate on administration, management or teaching.
When a graduating student has attained 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. Various other requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LVN and LPN Certificates and Degrees
There are essentially two scholastic accreditations offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Fayette AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest period of time, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The 2nd choice is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from supplying a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. No matter the kind of credential you seek, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or any other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC guarantees 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.
Unlike many other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to obtain a college degree. CNA training can be acquired at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Fayette AL area. The duration of the training can take anywhere from 1 to three months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Within the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to obtain at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which need to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and that every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only complies with the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One tip is to contact the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the training is state certified. In addition to 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.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing schools online is growing into a more in demand way to get instruction and attain a nursing degree in Alabama. Many schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Fayette AL home, this option may be a more accommodating answer to finding the free time to attend classes for some students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be minimized, helping to make education more easily affordable. And numerous online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. And so if your job and family commitments have left you with little time to work toward your academic goals, perhaps an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Courses
Once you have selected which nursing degree to enroll in, and whether to attend your classes on campus or on the internet, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt realize, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from so that you will have a manageable list. As we previously pointed out, the site of the school relative to Fayette AL along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the primary two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your pick measures up to the field.
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 organization. Besides helping verify that you get an excellent education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not available for non-accredited schools near Fayette AL.
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) along with graduation from an accredited school. Some states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Fayette AL area school you are attending not only delivers an excellent education, but also prepares you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at internet rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, contact the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can contact some local Fayette AL 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 colleges 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 imperative that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only substantiate that the school has a favorable reputation within the Fayette AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Fayette AL area nursing degree programs require a specified 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 regional hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN School near Fayette AL
Choosing the right registered nursing degree program is probably the most important phase to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are many factors that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have emphasized within this article, it is important that you pick an RN school and a degree program that are each accredited and have exceptional reputations within the health care community. By utilizing our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your hard work and ambition to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Fayette AL.
Why Did You Choose to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing job, it's advantageous to review questions you might be asked. Among the things that interviewers often ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to learn is not just the private reasons you may have for being a registered nurse, but also what characteristics and talents you have that make you exceptional at your profession. You will undoubtedly be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, along with a certain number of routine interview questions, so you must ready several approaches about how you would like to address them. Because there are numerous factors that go into choosing a career, you can answer this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When formulating an answer, attempt to include the reasons the work interests you in addition to the abilities you have that make you an excellent nurse and the best candidate for the position. Don't make an effort to memorize an answer, but write down several concepts and anecdotes that pertain to your personal experiences and strengths. Going over sample answers can assist you to formulate your own thoughts, and inspire ideas of what to discuss to wow the interviewer.
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