How to Choose a Nursing Program in Daleville Alabama
Finding the right nursing school near Daleville AL may feel like a complex endeavor, particularly if you don’t know what to search for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, for you to practice as a registered nurse, you need to receive the appropriate education and training to become licensed. So it is essential that you study and determine the qualifications of each school you are contemplating before enrolling in your ultimate selection. Unfortunately, too many future students base their selection entirely on the cost of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is nearest to your house is most likely not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are a number of key additional aspects to investigate before you decide where to enroll in classes. But before we delve into that checklist, let’s first discuss what the job of a registered nurse is in our medical care system, as well as the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Responsibilities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Daleville AL healthcare delivery system. RNs practice in numerous different medical settings, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary job is to help doctors in the care 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. Some of the functions of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Monitoring patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Instructing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more complex job duties and responsibilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and typically work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can administer primary or specialty care services in Daleville AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degrees Available
There is more than one degree option to choose from to become a registered nurse in Daleville AL. And in order to become an RN, a student must enroll in an accredited school and program. A student can obtain a qualifying degree in just 2 years, or continue on to earn a graduate degree for a total of six years. Following are some brief explanations of the nursing degrees that are available.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is commonly a two year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It readies graduates for an entry level job in nursing in medical facilities including hospitals, clinics or nursing homes. Many utilize the ADN as an entry into nursing and ultimately obtain a more advanced degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more in depth 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 might wish to progress to a clinical or administrative position, or be more competitive in the employment market.
- Master’s. The Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) is generally a 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Daleville AL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
After 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) to become licensed. Further requirements for licensing change from state to state, so make sure to contact the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two scholastic credentials offered that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Daleville AL. The one that can be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The second choice is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and normally require 2 years to finish. The benefit of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive instruction, are that they furnish more transferrable credit toward a Bachelor’s Degree in nursing. Regardless of the type of credential you pursue, it needs to be Alabama approved and accredited by the National League for Nursing Accrediting Commission (NLNAC) or some other national accrediting organization. The NLNAC warrants that the course of study adequately prepares students to become Practical Nurses, and that most 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 received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Daleville AL area. The length of the instruction can take anywhere from 1 to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to receive at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Bear in mind that this is the minimal amount of instruction required and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s necessary to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only meets the federal requirements, but additionally those for the state where you will be practicing. One recommendation is to get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make certain that the training 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.
Nursing Online Programs
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more popular way to receive training and earn a nursing degree in Alabama. Certain schools will require attendance on campus for part of the training, and nearly all programs require a certain amount of clinical rotation hours completed in a local healthcare facility. But since the balance of the training can be accessed online in your Daleville AL home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Pertaining to tuition, many online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus choices. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials may be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many 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 limited time to pursue your academic goals, maybe an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Things to Ask Nurse Degree Programs
Once you have chosen which nursing program to enroll in, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or online, you can use the following checklist to begin narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly realize, there are numerous nursing schools and colleges throughout Alabama and the United States. So it is necessary to decrease the number of schools to choose from to ensure that you will have a manageable list. As we earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Daleville AL and the expense of tuition are probably going to be the primary two factors that you will look at. But as we also emphasized, they should not be your only qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your selection compares to the field.
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 agency. Besides helping verify that you obtain a premium education, it may help in acquiring financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not provided for non-accredited schools near Daleville 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. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Daleville AL area school you are enrolled in not only provides an outstanding education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be working.
Reputation. Check internet rating services to see what the assessments are for all of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting organizations for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to check out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can speak with some nearby Daleville 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 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 Daleville AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Virtually all Daleville AL area nursing degree programs require a specific number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing too. Ask if the schools have associations with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the positioning of students in internships.
Choose the Right RN Course near Daleville AL
Choosing the ideal registered nursing program is arguably the most critical first step to beginning a new career in the health care field. There are a number of aspects that you must take into account when deciding on a nursing school. These aspects will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial situation. As we have highlighted in this post, it is important that you select an RN school 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 short list of schools to choose from so that you can make your final selection. And with the proper degree and training, combined with your dedication and drive to succeed, you can become a practicing RN in Daleville AL.
Why Did You Decide to Be a Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's important to consider questions you may be asked. Among the things that hiring managers typically ask nursing candidates is "What compelled you to pick nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is trying to learn is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but also what characteristics and talents you possess that make you exceptional at what you do. You will likely be asked questions relating specifically to nursing, in addition to a significant number of routine interview questions, so you need to prepare several ideas about how you want to answer them. Given that there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this fundamental question in a multitude of ways. When preparing an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you possess that make you an excellent nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't attempt to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and anecdotes that relate to your personal strengths and experiences. Reading through sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and inspire ideas of what to include to impress the interviewer.
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