How to Select a Nursing College in Greensboro Alabama
Locating the right nursing school near Greensboro AL may feel like a formidable undertaking, especially if you have no idea what to look for in a good degree program. As you may already understand, to practice as a registered nurse, you must obtain the proper education and training in order to become licensed. So it is vitally important that you research and measure the qualifications of each college you are considering before enrolling in your ultimate choice. Regrettably, too many prospective students base their determination entirely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least expensive college or the one that is local to your house is probably not the best way to pick a nursing program. There are many crucial additional factors to investigate before you determine where to attend classes. But before we examine that checklist, let’s first go over what the function of a registered nurse is in our medical system, along with the nursing degree options that are offered.
Registered Nurse Job Duties
Registered nurses are the largest occupation in the Greensboro AL medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical settings, including hospitals, family practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their general role is to assist doctors in the treatment of their patients. Having said that, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. A few of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Providing medications
- Overseeing patients
- Performing physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Supervising LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Informing patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a more advanced degree may have more advanced job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for example, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can deliver primary or specialty care services in Greensboro AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat basic illnesses or injuries.
There are several degree options to choose from to become a registered nurse in Greensboro 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 continue on to attain 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 2 year program made available by Alabama community colleges. It prepares 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 ultimately obtain a higher degree.
- Bachelor’s. The Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) offers more expansive training than the ADN. It is generally a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be allowed to complete an accelerated program based on their previous training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program may desire 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 two year program after acquiring the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Greensboro AL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
Once a graduating student has acquired one of the above degrees, she or he must pass the National Council Licensure Examination for Registered Nurses (NCLEX-RN) to become licensed. Additional requirements for licensing vary from state to state, so make sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
LPN and LVN Programs
There are essentially two academic credentials available that provide education to become either an LPN or an LVN in Greensboro AL. The one that may be concluded in the shortest amount of time, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma course. The next alternative is to obtain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to complete. The advantage of Associate Degrees, in addition to offering a higher credential and more extensive 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 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.
Unlike other licensed nurses, certified nursing assistants do not have to earn a college degree. CNA instruction can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Greensboro AL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from just one to 3 months, resulting in either a certificate or a diploma. Under the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act, students are required to have at least 75 hours of training, 16 of which have to be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimum amount of training required and every state has its specific prerequisites. So it’s necessary to make certain that the course 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 get in touch with the health or nursing board for Alabama to make sure that the training is state approved. 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 requirements as well.
Online Nursing Degrees
Enrolling in nursing colleges online is emerging as a more favored way to receive training and attain a nursing degree in Alabama. Certain schools will require attending on campus for a component 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 balance of the training may be accessed online in your Greensboro AL home, this method may be a more accommodating approach to finding the time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are less expensive than other on campus alternatives. Even other expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be reduced, helping to make education more easily affordable. And many online programs are accredited by organizations like the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education (CCNE) for BSN and MSN degrees. Therefore if your work and family responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, it could be that an online nursing school will make it more convenient to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
Questions to Ask Nurse Schools
Now that you have determined which nursing degree to pursue, and if to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can utilize the following pointers to begin narrowing down your choices. As you no doubt are aware, there are many nursing schools and colleges within Alabama and the United States. So it is essential to lower the number of schools to choose from in order that you will have a workable list. As we already pointed out, the site of the school relative to Greensboro AL and the expense of tuition are most likely going to be the first two factors that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So before making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick compares to the other schools.
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 organization. In addition to helping verify that you obtain an excellent education, it may assist in securing financial aid or student loans, which are frequently not available for non-accredited schools near Greensboro 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) together with graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a specific number of clinical hours be completed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s imperative that the Greensboro AL area school you are enrolled in not only delivers an outstanding education, but also prepares you to meet the minimum licensing requirements for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for each of the schools you are looking into. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. In addition, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to determine if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Greensboro 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 programs 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 unhappy with the program and dropped out. It’s also essential that the schools have high job placement rates. A high rate will not only verify that the school has a superb reputation within the Greensboro AL medical community, but that it also has the network of contacts to assist students obtain employment.
Internship Programs. The best way to obtain experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical environment. Essentially all Greensboro AL area nursing degree programs require a certain number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour mandates for licensing as well. Check if the schools have a working relationship with nearby hospitals, clinics or labs and help with the placing of students in internships.
Select the Right RN Degree near Greensboro AL
Picking the ideal registered nursing college is arguably the most critical step to launching a new career in the health care industry. There are many aspects that you must think about when selecting a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your existing career goals, lifestyle, and financial status. As we have emphasized in this post, it is critical that you choose an RN school and a degree program that are both accredited and have exceptional reputations within the healthcare community. By using our checklist of qualifying questions, you will be able to produce a shortlist of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the appropriate degree and training, combined with your dedication and desire to succeed, you can become a practicing nurse in Greensboro AL.
Why Did You Choose to Be a Registered Nurse?When preparing to interview for a nursing job, it's helpful to reflect on questions you might be asked. One of the things that recruiters frequently ask nursing applicants is "What drove you to choose nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to discover is not just the personal reasons you may have for being a RN, but additionally what attributes and skills you have that make you good at what you do. You will probably be asked questions pertaining exclusively to nursing, as well as a significant number of standard interview questions, so you must prepare a number of ideas about how you want to respond to them. Because there are so many variables that go into selecting a career, you can answer this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, try to include the reasons the work appeals to you in addition to the strengths you have that make you an excellent nurse and the ideal choice for the job. Don't try to memorize an answer, but write down a few ideas and talking points that relate to your own experiences and strengths. Reviewing sample responses can help you to prepare your own concepts, and provide ideas of what to include to wow the recruiter.
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