How to Select a Nursing School in Brookwood Alabama
Searching for the right nursing college near Brookwood AL may feel like a challenging project, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, in order to practice as a registered nurse, you need to acquire the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and evaluate the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate selection. The fact is, too many potential students base their decision exclusively on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Picking the least costly program or the one that is local to your home is most likely not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of crucial additional considerations to explore before you determine where to enroll in classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical system, as well as the nursing degree alternatives that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Functions
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Brookwood AL medical care delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical environments, namely hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to aid doctors in the care of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will depend on their job or specialization in addition to where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Overseeing 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 higher degree may have more high level job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Brookwood AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option available to become a registered nurse in Brookwood AL. And to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can acquire a qualifying degree in just two years, or advance to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some short explanations of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is generally a 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical centers such as hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many employ the ADN as an entry into nursing and afterwards obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) supplies more expansive training than the ADN. It is typically a 4 year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be able to complete an accelerated program based on their prior 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 job market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is usually a two year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Brookwood AL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once 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) in order to become licensed. Various other requirements for licensing fluctuate from state to state, so be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Courses
There are generally two scholastic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Brookwood AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest time period, commonly about twelve months, is the certificate or diploma program. The second option is to earn a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are broader in nature than the diploma alternative and commonly require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, along with offering a higher credential and more comprehensive training, are that they provide more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of 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 warrants that the course of study effectively prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that the majority of graduates pass the 50 state required NCLEX-PN licensing exam.
In contrast to some other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not need to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Brookwood AL area. The length of the training 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 mandated to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of instruction directed and that each state has its own requirements. So it’s crucial to make certain that the course you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but also those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to contact the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the education 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 other requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and acquire a nursing degree in Alabama. Some schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and almost all programs call for a specific number of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training can be accessed online in your Brookwood AL home, this option may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend school for some students. Concerning tuition, a number of online degree programs are less costly than other on campus choices. Even supplemental expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, 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. Therefore if your work and household obligations have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing training program will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your hectic schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have selected which nursing degree to pursue, as well as if to attend your classes on campus or online, you can utilize the following guidelines to begin narrowing down your options. As you undoubtedly realize, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to decrease the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we earlier pointed out, the site of the school relative to Brookwood AL along with the cost of tuition are probably going to be the first two factors that you will consider. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate choice, use the following questions to see how your selection compares to the field.
Accreditation. It’s a good idea to make sure that the degree or certificate program along with the school is accredited by a U.S. Department of Education acknowledged accrediting agency. In addition to helping confirm that you receive a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not offered for non-accredited schools near Brookwood AL.
Licensing Preparation. Licensing requirements for registered nurses differ 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. Certain states require a specified number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Brookwood AL area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also preps you to satisfy the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Look at online rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews too. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Brookwood AL 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 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 unhappy 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 good reputation within the Brookwood AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students attain a position.
Internship Programs. The most effective way to get experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Essentially all Brookwood AL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Many states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Ask if the schools have a working relationship with community hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN Degree near Brookwood AL
Enrolling in the right registered nursing school is perhaps the most critical phase to launching a new career in the medical care industry. There are various aspects that you should take into account when selecting a nursing school. These factors will be prioritized differently depending on your existing career objectives, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have pointed out within this article, it is essential that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the medical community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to develop a short list 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 drive to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Brookwood AL.
Why Did You Choose to Become a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing position, it's important to consider questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers frequently ask nursing applicants is "What made you choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is attempting to uncover is not just the private reasons you may have for becoming a RN, but also what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, along with a significant number of routine interview questions, so you should prepare a number of strategies about how you would like to address them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can address this primary question in a multitude of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession appeals to you as well as the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the leading choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but jot down several ideas and talking points that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reviewing sample answers can assist you to prepare your own thoughts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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