How to Choose a Nursing Program in Moulton Alabama
Finding the right nursing college near Moulton AL may seem like a challenging project, particularly if you have no idea what to search for in a good degree program. As you may presently know, to practice as a registered nurse, you need to obtain the proper education and training to become licensed. So it is critically important that you study and determine the qualifications of each program you are considering before enrolling in your final choice. The fact is, too many potential students base their selection solely on the price of tuition and the nearness of the school. Selecting the least costly program or the one that is local to your residence is no doubt not the most ideal way to pick a nursing program. There are various essential additional aspects to check into before you determine 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 healthcare system, along with the nursing degree alternatives that are available.
Registered Nurse Job Activities
Registered nurses are the most significant occupation in the Moulton AL medical delivery system. RNs practice in many different medical environments, namely hospitals, private practices, outpatient clinics, nursing homes and even schools. Their primary duty is to help doctors in the care of their patients. However, the specific duties of a registered nurse will be dependent on their job or specialization along with where they work. Some of the responsibilities of an RN may include:
- Administering medications
- Observing patients
- Conducting physical examinations
- Coordinating care
- Managing LPNs, LVNs and nurse aides
- Educating patients and their families
- Maintaining health records and charts
Nurses with a higher degree may have more complex job duties and accountabilities. Nurse practitioners (NP), for instance, must hold a Master’s Degree and normally work more independently than their RN counterparts. They can provide primary or specialty care services in Moulton AL, prescribe medications, and diagnose and treat routine illnesses or injuries.
Nursing Degree Options
There are several degree options available to become a registered nurse in Moulton 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 as little as two years, or continue on to achieve a graduate degree for a total of 6 years. Following are some brief summaries of the nursing degrees that are offered.
- Associates. The Associate Degree in Nursing (ADN) is usually a 2 year program offered by Alabama community colleges. It preps graduates for an entry level position in nursing in medical facilities 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) provides more extensive training than the ADN. It is usually a four year program offered at Alabama colleges and universities. Licensed RNs may be eligible to complete an accelerated program based on their past training or degree and professional experience (RN to BSN). Those applying to the program might wish 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 2 year program after achieving the BSN. The MSN program offers specialization training, for instance to become a nurse practitioner in Moulton AL or focus on administration, management or teaching.
When 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 be sure to get in touch with the Alabama board of nursing for any state requirements.
There are basically two scholastic accreditations available that provide training to become either an LPN or an LVN in Moulton AL. The one that can be finished in the shortest time frame, usually about 1 year, is the certificate or diploma program. The other option is to attain a Practical Nursing Associate Degree. These programs are more comprehensive in nature than the diploma alternative and typically require 2 years to finish. The advantage of Associate Degrees, aside from offering a higher credential and more in-depth training, 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 properly 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 attain a college degree. CNA education can be received at a community college or at either a vocational or trade school in the Moulton AL area. The length of the training program can take anywhere from one to 3 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 must be clinical or “hands-on” training hours. Keep in mind that this is the minimal period of instruction mandated and every state has its specific requirements. So it’s essential to make certain that the training program you enroll in not only fulfills the federal requirements, but likewise those for the state where you will be practicing. One suggestion is to get in touch with 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 can be other prerequisites as well.
Online Nursing Schools
Attending nursing programs online is growing into a more in demand way to obtain instruction and acquire a nursing degree in Alabama. Many schools will require attending on campus for a component of the training, and almost all programs call for a certain amount of clinical rotation hours carried out in a local healthcare center. But since the rest of the training may be accessed online in your Moulton AL home, this alternative may be a more convenient approach to finding the free time to attend college for many students. Regarding tuition, some online degree programs are cheaper than other on campus options. Even supplementary expenses such as for commuting and study materials can be lessened, helping to make education more 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 responsibilities have left you with limited time to work toward your academic goals, maybe an online nursing training program will make it easier to fit a degree into your busy schedule.
What to Ask Nurse Programs
Now that you have chosen which nursing degree to pursue, along with whether to attend your classes on campus or on the web, you can use the following guidelines to start narrowing down your choices. As you undoubtedly are aware, there are a large number of nursing schools and colleges throughout 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 earlier pointed out, the location of the school relative to Moulton AL along with the expense of tuition are undoubtedly going to be the first two things that you will take into consideration. But as we also stressed, they should not be your sole qualifiers. So prior to making your ultimate selection, use the following questions to evaluate how your pick 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 recognized accrediting organization. Besides helping make sure that you get a premium education, it may help in obtaining financial aid or student loans, which are oftentimes not provided for non-accredited schools near Moulton 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) in addition to graduation from an accredited school. Many states require a certain number of clinical hours be performed, as well as the passing of additional tests. It’s essential that the Moulton AL area school you are attending not only delivers a top-notch education, but also readies you to meet the minimum licensing standards for Alabama or the state where you will be practicing.
Reputation. Check online rating companies to see what the evaluations are for all of the schools you are considering. Ask the accrediting agencies for their reviews also. Additionally, check with the Alabama school licensing authority to find out if there are any complaints or compliance issues. Finally, you can call some regional Moulton AL healthcare organizations you’re interested in working for after graduation and ask what their judgements 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 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 Moulton AL healthcare community, but that it also has the network of relationships to help students gain employment.
Internship Programs. The most ideal way to acquire experience as a registered nurse is to work in a clinical setting. Almost all Moulton AL area nursing degree programs require a specified number of clinical hours be completed. Various states have minimum clinical hour prerequisites for licensing also. Find out if the schools have a working relationship with local hospitals, clinics or labs and assist with the positioning of students in internships.
Pick the Right RN College near Moulton AL
Deciding on the right registered nursing program is probably the most crucial first step to beginning a new career in the medical care industry. There are a number of factors that you need to consider when deciding on a nursing school. These variables will be prioritized differently contingent on your current career objectives, obligations, and economic status. As we have pointed out in this article, it is critical that you pick an RN college and a degree program that are both accredited and have excellent reputations within the healthcare community. By using our list of qualifying questions, you will be able to create a short list of schools to pick from so that you can make your final selection. And with the right degree and training, combined with your dedication and ambition to succeed, you can become a licensed registered nurse in Moulton AL.
Why Did You Desire to Become an RN?When prepping to interview for a nursing position, it's a good idea to reflect on questions you could be asked. Among the questions that interviewers typically ask nursing applicants is "What compelled you to decide on nursing as a career?". What the interviewer is hoping to uncover is not just the personal reasons you might have for becoming a RN, but additionally what characteristics and skills you have that make you outstanding at your profession. You will likely be asked questions pertaining specifically to nursing, as well as a certain number of routine interview questions, so you need to organize some strategies about how you would like to respond to them. Since there are several variables that go into selecting a career, you can respond to this primary question in a variety of ways. When readying an answer, attempt to include the reasons the profession interests you in addition to the talents you have that make you an exceptional nurse and the perfiect candidate for the job. Don't make an effort to memorize a response, but write down several concepts and topics that pertain to your own strengths and experiences. Reading through sample answers can help you to develop your own concepts, and give you ideas of what to discuss to impress the interviewer.
Some Other Cities in Alabama